Lesotho, SA sign cross-border agreement
BLOEMFONTEIN — Social Development Minister Molahlehi Letlotlo and his South African counterpart, Bathabile Dlamini, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cross-border cooperation on the movement of vulnerable groups.
The MOU, which was inked at the Free State Legislature in Bloemfontein, is meant to stem the trafficking of children, women and other vulnerable groups.
The final agreement will be signed at a later stage after aligning it with the two countries’ laws.
Among the dignitaries in attendance during the ceremony was Bloemfontein Member of Executive Council for Social Development Sisi Ntombela and Free State Legislature Speaker Mamiki Qabathe. Mr Letlotlo said the newly-forged relationship between the two countries was meant to improve the lives of vulnerable groups who had borne the brunt of uncoordinated cross-border laws.
“In trying to offer quality services to vulnerable members of society, we have concluded this agreement which will afford us the opportunity to measure our goals,” he said.
“We are in agreement that our countries are faced with a huge challenge on a variety of issues affecting vulnerable people, particularly children. This calls for constant consultations to exchange and review programmes as we strive to better their socioeconomic status.”
Mr Letlotlo added: “The occasion of the signing of the MOU marks a significant milestone in the long history of cooperation between our two sister countries.
“The Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa share borders, culture and most importantly many Basotho work and reside in South Africa hence there are some shared responsibilities between the two countries.
“This important document is a crucial instrument that renders guidance towards effective care and support to our vulnerable people.”
SOCIAL Development Minister Molahlehi Letlotlo (left) and his South African counterpart Bathabile Dlamini (right) at yesterday’s signing ceremony.