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SouthAfrican President congratulates new Zambian President
January 25, 2015, 10:31 am

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane head of SADC Election Observer Mission visiting polling stations in Zambia [Image: DIRCO, South Africa]

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane head of SADC Election Observer Mission visiting polling stations in Zambia [Image: DIRCO, South Africa]

South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday congratulated Zambia’s new president-elect Edgar Lungu vowing to boost ties with the country.

Zambians elected ruling party stalwart Edgar Lungu their next president with 48.3 per cent of the votes cast this week. South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) election observer mission, had endorsed the election as “peaceful, transparent, credible, free, and fair, thus reflecting the will of the people of Zambia.”

“In his message, President Zuma also congratulated the people of Zambia for conducting a peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair election as declared by the [SA Development Community] Election Observation Mission,” South African Foreign Ministry spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement on Sunday.

Monyela also said the Foreign Minister Mashabane is representing South Africa at the inauguration of the newly elected president of Zambia on Sunday. Former Zambian President Michael Sata died in office in October last year following a protracted illness.

President Zuma said South Africa would focus on strengthening social and economic ties with the land-locked southern African country.

Earlier last year, South African transportation firm Grindrod had won a bid to build a new 590 km-rail line, which will connect Zambia’s vast copper mines to the Atlantic coast.

Zambia, in south-central Africa, is the continent’s biggest copper producer.

Zambia’s state environmental regulator had last year cleared Chinese-owned NFCA mining to restart operations at its $830 million mine project in Chimbishi.

Zambia has averaged 6-7 per cent growth as the mining sector boomed but that slowed to 5.5 per cent last year, the International Monetary Fund says, and could ease further with the price of copper reaching a 6-year low this month.

 

TBP and Agencies

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