Mozambique and KZN cement ties
Economic and trade relations between Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal were cemented during the visit of President Armando Emilio Guebuza to the province this week.
Guebuza met with premier Sbu Ndebele at a ArcelorMittal steel mill in Newcastle.
Ndebele spoke of the close ties between SA and Mozambique, especially during the years of the struggle against apartheid.
"We are proud to be associated with a democratic state like Mozambique," Ndebele said.
Ndebele applauded Guebuza for "continuing with the sound economic policies that have encouraged large foreign investments in Mozambique.
"South Africa is one of Mozambique's important economic partners," he said.
"In 2007 total exports to Mozambique were about R8billion. From Mozambique we imported goods to the value of R2billion."
Ndebele and Guebuza agreed that the implementation of the five spatial development initiatives - the Maputo Development Corridor; Beira; Limpopo Valley; Zambezi Valley and Nacala - had increased economic activity between the two countries.
The two leaders also agreed that KwaZulu-Natal was an important industrial development hub with huge natural resources and welldeveloped infrastructure.
Guebuza said the close proximity of the province to Mozambique was crucial to increased economic activity between the neighbours.
Economic activity is concentrated in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and the Richards Bay-Empangeni area. There is also significant economic activity in smaller industrial areas such as Ladysmith and Newcastle.
The SA Police Service also have close working relations with their Mozambican counterparts. The two have joined forces in the fight against drug trafficking and car hijacking.