SA seeks clarity after Botswana extends fresh produce ban

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Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza says Botswana’s decision to extend the ban on fresh produce imports from South Africa until 2025, does not allow for better trade relations between the two countries.

Botswana announced it would extend restrictions on imports of some fresh produce to July 2025 as the country edged towards becoming self-sufficient in food.

The ban was set to end this month. Didiza has raised concerns over Botswana’s extension on import restrictions and is seeking an urgent meeting with her counterpart in Gaborone to discuss the decision.

“We are working now with Botswana Embassy to really seek this meeting so that we can have a full appreciation as to how are they seeing these measures they are putting. The measures not distorting trade in the regions. This happens when all of us improve trade relations within the continent in this part of the African Continental Free Trade Area. When a country wakes up and say I am blocking off country X, these particular commodities for a particular period without having engaged your trading partner, that’s a problem.”