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South Africa and Lesotho want to work together to strengthen the local government sector.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and his Lesotho counterpart, Moshe Leoma, signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday.
The memorandum will focus on the decentralization of local government and exchange programs for municipalities.
Dlamini-Zuma says South Africa will help Lesotho implement some of its laws.
“Cooperation between the two countries will help us learn lessons and adopt best practices from Lesotho and South Africa. Our people are also related, we are neighbors. Lesotho is going to have a new local government law and we hope that we will offer assistance in the implementation of the new local government law.
The proposed deal to strengthen local government between the two countries comes after their two citizens have clashed in the past.
In June, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office of Lesotho, Likopo Mahase, said the violence directed against Lesotho nationals in Hankey must be addressed.
He was speaking at Jeffrey’s Bay where more than 100 Lesotho nationals left for their home countries by bus after being displaced from their homes.
More than 400 people were initially displaced during clashes between Lesotho nationals and Centerton residents in Hankey.
Mahase said a large number of Lesotho citizens worked on farms from the Gamtoos Valley to Cape Town.
“They lost their jobs and at the same time the farmers lost their productivity. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the government, both of Lesotho and South Africa. We need each other. South Africa is Lesotho’s only neighbor, we are surrounded by South Africa, so we have to sort out the issues between Lesotho and South Africa, especially Labour,” Mahase said.