21 Nov 2022

President Ramaphosa embarks on UK Royal State Visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will this week conduct a State Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) from 22 to 23 November 2022.

The President will honour the invitation of His Majesty King Charles III with the visit that commences on Tuesday and will end on Wednesday, 23 November.

The Presidency in a statement said Royal State Visits are in the furtherance of bilateral relations and as a symbol of respect and of the importance the UK ascribes to its relations with a particular country.

President Ramaphosa is the first Head of State to be hosted for a State Visit by His Majesty Charles III.

President Ramaphosa will convey to His Majesty King Charles III and the Queen Consort, First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe’s deep regret at not being able to participate in the State Visit.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said: “On the advice of her doctors, the First Lady could not travel on a long-haul flight due her recovery from recent surgery on her eyes.

“During the visit, President Ramaphosa will also hold official talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to review a range of issues of a bilateral, continental and global nature.”

He said key sectors under consideration for mutual benefit and to support economic growth and development in South Africa include infrastructure development, mining, energy, manufacturing, agro-processing, business process outsourcing and tourism.

On Tuesday, 22 November, President Ramaphosa will be officially welcomed by His Majesty King Charles III at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

“Later in the day, the President will address a Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament, before being hosted to a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace,” Magwenya said.

On Wednesday, the President accompanied by the Earl of Wessex, will participate in a roundtable on climate change and biodiversity.

Thereafter, the President will visit the Francis Crick Institute, the largest biomedical research institute in Europe, where the President will be briefed on the partnership between South Africa and the United Kingdom in this area of science. Here the President will also interact with young South African scientists who are attached to the Crick Institute.

“This engagement will be followed by the President’s engagement with Prime Minister Sunak at 10 Downing Street.

“Following the Downing St visit, the President will participate in a bilateral business roundtable at Lancaster House where economic cooperation will be deliberated by South African and United Kingdom Ministers and Secretaries of State respectively, officials as well as business leaders,” said the Presidency.

The second day of the State Visit concludes with a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor of London in honour of the President.

The President will be accompanied on the visit by Minister of International Relations, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande; Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel and Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla. – SAnews.gov.za