- Cyril Ramaphosa called for a strengthening of relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom.
- Ramaphosa addressed the British Parliament and said he would raise the idea of allowing more SA students to study in Britain.
- He said the restructuring of SA’s energy market to counter power shortages could provide opportunities for UK companies.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a new boost for trade, trade and investment ties between South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Ramaphosa addressed MPs and colleagues at the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords during his state visit to Britain at the invitation of King Charles III and Britain’s Queen Consort Camilla.
He said he had spoken over lunch at Buckingham Palace about “initiatives that could be taken by the Commonwealth under the direction of His Majesty the King”.
Ramaphosa said he would raise the idea of bringing more South African students to study in Britain when he meets Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, adding that restructuring the South African energy market to combat power shortages could open opportunities for UK companies.
By pursuing these and other avenues of cooperation, I believe we will define the relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom in new and exciting ways.
Britain hopes the visit, which was scheduled for Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, will strengthen trade and investment ties between the two nations and demonstrate the importance of ties with the Commonwealth of Nations, the international organization Charles now calls. leads.
“This is a strengthening of the strong bilateral relationship we have with South Africa, a real opportunity to build on that close working relationship and discuss some of the issues that affect us all,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said to Reuters.
First state visit since 2019
Ramaphosa was officially greeted by Charles’s eldest son and heir, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, at a central London hotel to mark the start of his two-day trip, the first state visit to the UK by a world leader since then of then US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in 2019.
The last state visit by a South African leader to Britain was that of former President Jacob Zuma in 2010.
Gun salutes and a ceremonial welcome from the King and his wife, Camilla, the Queen’s consort, followed before a grand carriage ride through The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where a banquet in the President’s honor will later be held.
Ramaphosa would visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and see the memorial stone to former South African President Nelson Mandela.
READ | FULL SPEECH: History, Trade and Climate Change: Speech from President Cyril Ramaphosa to UK Leaders
Ramaphosa said Britain stood with South Africa to help free Mandela and end apartheid, and now called on Britain to support lower-income countries’ calls for a reformed global institutional order and climate justice.
“Let’s revive the moral purpose of the global struggle against apartheid to tackle the discrimination, inequality and injustice that divides humanity and stifles the progress of all,” he said.