Media remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the conclusion of the UK working visit
28 August 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the Media,
Good day to you all.
Let me begin by extending, once more, a very warm welcome to our esteemed guest and dear friend, Prime Minister May and her delegation on her first working visit to South Africa as Prime Minister.
We were extremely honoured to have been presented with the ship’s bell of the SS Mendi, on which over 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps perished in 1917.
Please accept our gratitude and appreciation for this gesture, which honours the memory and the sacrifices of all those who perished so far away from their homes and loved ones.
Prime Minister May and I have just concluded discussions that were characterised by a renewed commitment to forge a closer partnership between our two countries.
During our talks, we reviewed a range of issues of a bilateral, continental and global nature.
We have noted with great satisfaction the strong relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom in wide-ranging areas of cooperation, including energy, science and technology, education, health, arts and culture.
We recognised that these areas of cooperation are currently at different stages of progress.
We have directed our Ministers and officials to ensure full implementation of all existing legal instruments for the mutual benefit of our respective countries and peoples.
In our official talks, we noted the increased economic cooperation and trade relations between our countries.
Both our countries have identified key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and development.
These sectors include manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.
We also confirmed our wish that the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are concluded in a manner that restores stability to economic and financial markets.
We further welcomed the regular engagements between the trade Ministers of the members of the Southern African Customs Union and the United Kingdom on a future trade agreement.
We are encouraged on the signing today of the Joint Statement on the UK, SACU and Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement, which significantly advances these engagements.
We also held discussions on various peace and security challenges on the African continent and internationally.
We have noted with concern the continued instability and conflict in some of our sister countries.
We have reaffirmed our commitment to working together in pursuit of peace, stability and development on the continent.
We have saluted the strides being made by the AU Member States to advance continental integration.
On the international front, we have affirmed our common view on the need to promote multilateralism and effective North-South cooperation.
In conclusion, we reaffirmed the importance of our historical relations, and further committed ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with our mutual desire to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Prime Minister, let me again thank you and your delegation for visiting us and we hope that you have enjoyed your stay.
I thank you.
Issued by The Presidency, 28 August 2018