They work together to boost business, tourism

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga and Maputo have signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate cooperation in various areas.

The memorandum aims to maximise investment opportunities and promote the exchange of information and collaboration between the two regions with regard to, among other areas, agriculture, local government and the 2010 World Cup.

"The other areas of cooperation are transport logistics, education, culture, sport, environmental conservation and tourism development," premier Thabang Makwetla said.

The memorandum was signed on Wednesday by Makwetla and Maputo governor Exa Telmina Pereira.

It also includes a mooted collaboration on education, culture and the struggle against malaria.

Makwetla's aide, Ntime Skosana, said a pact was entered into in 2001 between South Africa and Mozambique to increase trade and cultural relations .

He said Mpumalanga and Maputo had signed the agreement within the national framework to maximise investment opportunities and to promote the exchange of information and collaboration.

Makwetla said one of the projects that they would embark on was sugarcane farming where farmers from Mpumalanga and Maputo province would be provided with land in Maputo to produce sugar for commercial purposes. He said a feasibility study was under way.

"This project required a substantial capital outlay and it was therefore referred to the African Development Bank to be registered as a Nepad flagship project," he said.

Pereira said Mozambique was getting ready for 2010 .

"We are building a national stadium that we hope will serve as a training camp and they are also increasing the hospitality capacity through the construction of additional hotels and lodges," she said.