South Africa and Lesotho want to work together in strengthening the local government sector.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Doctor Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her Lesotho counterpart Moshe Leoma signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday.
The memorandum will focus on the de-centralisation of local government and exchange programmes for municipalities.
Dlamini-Zuma says South Africa will assist Lesotho to implement some of its laws.
“The cooperation between the two countries will assist us in learning lessons and take best practices from Lesotho and from South Africa. Our people are also related, we are neighbours. Lesotho is going to have a new Local Act and we hope that we will offer assistance as they implement the new Local Government Act.’
The proposed agreement to strengthen local government between the two countries comes after both their citizens have clashed in the past.
In June, the Minister in the office of the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Likopo Mahase, commented that the violence directed at Lesotho nationals in Hankey must be addressed.
He was speaking in Jeffrey’s Bay where more than a 100 Lesotho nationals departed for their home country on busses after being displaced from their homes.
More than 400 people were originally displaced in clashes between Lesotho nationals and residents of Centerton in Hankey.
Mahase said there are large numbers of Lesotho citizens who work on farms from the Gamtoos Valley right up to Cape Town.
“They have lost their jobs and at the same time, the farmers have lost their productivity. It is a problem that needs to be addressed by the government, both Lesotho and South Africa. We need each other. SA is the only neighbour of Lesotho, we are enclosed by South Africa so we need to iron out the issues between Lesotho and SA, especially Labour,” said Mahase.