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Following Regional Summit, S. Africa Pledges 800M Rand for Zimbabwe

In a summit dominated by the Madagascar crisis, Southern African leaders who suspended the island nation from the regional organization for what they called an unconstitutional change of government also pledged to support Zimbabwe's recovery.

VOA's Scott Bobb reported from the Swaziland summit site in Ezulwini, outside Mbabane, that SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamao said SADC member countries would need up to two weeks to come up with specific pledges of assistance.

But South Africa lost no time in spelling out its commitment.

African economic integration chief Neil Cole of the South African treasury told reporter Blessing Zulu in an exclusive interview that Pretoria is putting a total of 800 million rand on the table, roughly the equivalent of US$80 million - 300 million rand in budget support and 500 million rand in credits for the turnaround of business and parastatals.

Western participation in rebuilding Zimbabwe will be critical, however, said senior fellow Todd Moss, director of the emerging Africa project at the Center for Global Development in Washington and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

Moss told reporter Zulu that Harare’s ability to secure aid will depend on the credibility of the new government in the eyes of international donors.

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