New PM must re­visit Le­sotho-sa re­la­tions

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ON the oc­ca­sion of out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s in­au­gu­ra­tion as the head of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in 2012, I wrote an ar­ti­cle in the Le­sotho Times en­ti­tled “New PM must en­force Sa-le­sotho re­la­tions”.

It was ba­si­cally a lit­mus test and as­sess­ment of whether Le­sotho had come of age and pro­duced the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship with the met­tle to tackle the sin­gle most im­por­tant chal­lenge and need for Ba­sotho; the re­def­i­ni­tion and en­force­ment of Le­sotho’s re­la­tions with South Africa.

This would be the fi­nal ful­fil­ment of the le­gacy of the na­tion’s founder and great­est states­man, peace­maker and war­rior king, Moshoeshoe 1.

As pre­vi­ously stated, Le­sotho and Ba­sotho are an in­alien­able, in­te­gral part (and owner) of South Africa hav­ing con­trib­uted the most, par­tic­u­larly to its eco­nomic devel­op­ment, but ben­e­fit­ting the least.

This is a wrong which should have been righted by Le­sotho de­servedly sit­ting at the Con­ven­tion for a Demo­cratic South Africa’s (CODESA) ne­go­ti­a­tions ta­ble when a new postapartheid demo­cratic South Africa was be­ing forged.

In­deed it is never too late for a sec­ond CODESA this time be­tween the two coun­tries.

First, a com­mon con­sul­ta­tive fo­rum and vi­sion agenda needs be drafted of all Ba­sotho (of Le­sotho and South Africa), by an “All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion” (in the in­ter­na­tional sense of the word con­ven­tion not re­lat­ing to the name of the out­go­ing pre­mier’s party) and the prime min­is­ter must con­vene this fo­rum.

May 2015 Africa Month, which can also serve as a model for greater re­gional and con­ti­nen­tal in­te­gra­tion and union.

In­deed, the re­gion and con­ti­nent shall have ob­server and in­put sta­tus at such a fo­rum. Not for­get­ting and ex­clud­ing as well, the African Di­as­pora.

The first real tan­gi­ble de­liv­ery of the (Jan­uary 2015-De­cem­ber 2024) United Na­tions In­ter­na­tional Decade for Peo­ple of African de­scent which MK Male­fane has taken up the chal­lenge to drive.

The mileage and benefits for Le­sotho in host­ing this con­ven­tion with re­gional, con­ti­nen­tal, Di­as­pora and UN ob­server and in­put sta­tus, will in par­tic­u­lar, be on the eco­nomic devel­op­ment front as the fo­rum serves as a plat­form for mo­bil­i­sa­tion and de­liv­ery of mas­sive for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) with the po­ten­tial as I pre­vi­ously wrote in the Le­sotho Times Jan 8, 2015 “Open in­vi­ta­tion to the po­lit­i­cal par­ties con­test­ing the elec­tions”, to elim­i­nate poverty and un-em­ploy­ment and trans­form Le­sotho from least de­vel­oped to emerg­ing econ­omy within five years.

The plat­form and model project for this for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment, re­mains still the MK Male­fane led High­lands In­vest­ment Con­sor­tium’s US$4 bil­lion high­lands dam-hy­dro-industrial devel­op­ment zone-tourist re­sort-bank-uni­ver­sity of tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment ini­tia­tive, de­liv­er­able only on the ba­sis of the award­ing by Le­sotho-sa, of the Poli­hali dam-hy­dro project on a fi­nancedesign-build turnkey so­lu­tion ba­sis, which the new pre­mier, with­out the dis­trac­tions of the pre­vi­ous coali­tion squab­bles, can now “en­force” with ex­pected least re­sis­tance from South Africa.

Daunt­ing as the task may be for the new pre­mier and his cabi­net, he can be rest as­sured of all the sup­port that will be needed in­clud­ing in the pre­vi­ously pro­posed estab­lish­ment of a prime min­is­ter’s in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment ad­vi­sory coun­cil as well as the im­me­di­ate estab­lish­ment of Moshoeshoe House in Jo­han­nes­burg to serve as a Le­sotho in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion sup­port of­fice and guest house.

To the in­com­ing prime min­is­ter, let your in­au­gu­ra­tion be a cel­e­bra­tion but, as well, the first day when you re­port for duty.

MK Male­fane is Jo­han­nes­burg based in­ter­na­tional In­vest­ment & Devel­op­ment Con­sul­tant and heads the High­lands In­vest­ment & Devel­op­ment Con­sor­tium.

Demo­cratic congress leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili

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