South Africa and Malawi have signed a renewed  Economic Cooperation Agreement. President Cyril Ramaphosa, together with Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera and members of his cabinet recommitted to the memorandum of understanding that currently exists between the two countries.

South Africa’s exports to Malawi amounted to approximately R6 billion in 2019, while imports from Malawi were estimated at approximately R1,3 billion.

Malawi and South Africa strengthen bilateral and trade relations:

President Ramaphosa says the two countries plan to extend their cooperation.

Below is President Ramaphosa’s remarks on President Chakwera’s visit:

Malawi requests special permits for citizens working in SA

Earlier,  Chakwera requested that the South African government introduces special permits to his citizens that are working locally.

Chakwera has been upfront about the humanitarian agreements that he would like to see the two countries sign.

“I want to ask that you allow the special permits to be issued to Malawian migrants employed in the informal sector just as is the case for Zimbabwean and Lesotho [migrants]. In the same vein, I would like to ask that Malawians be able to apply for new permits and renew expired ones while in South Africa as a reciprocal arrangement. More broadly I request your help in simplifying visa extension procedures.”

Chakwera has also expressed concern about how long it takes to deport Malawians from the Lindela Repatriation Centre.

“I have often wondered if the period of detention of detainees at Lindela camp can be reduced because they are there for 120 days and even if we say reduce it to 60 days it may be too many days as a first step towards the ultimate idea of seven days. My third request has to do with the possibility of easing the issuance of medical visas to Malawian diplomatic passport holders, unlike the current arrangement where they are required to obtain an ordinary visa before acquiring a medical visa.