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US$2 Billion Loan From Pretoria Mooted in Zimbabwe-South Africa Talks

Following a meeting in Victoria falls between Zimbabwean and South African officials, official sources said Tuesday that Pretoria is considering a loan of US$2 billion to Harare.

Officials of both countries said US$1 billion would be to support government operations, while a US$1 billion credit line would be established for other purposes.

Official sources said South Africa meanwhile is advancing 60 million rand for agricultural materials. Pretoria provided R300 million for farming inputs last year.

The communiqué issued at the end of Monday's Zimbabwean-South African Joint Permanent Commission session in Victoria Falls stated stating the desire of both countries to cooperate to help Harare re-engage with the international community and lift Western sanctions.

But South Africa also urged other member nations of the Southern African Development Community to involve themselves in Zimbabwe's turnaround.

But Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Harare must downsize government before going on a begging spree.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...