Why is the state visit to the UK by President Cyril Ramaphosa important?

The Brief, No. 35

 21 November 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be in the United Kingdom (UK) on a state visit from 22 to 23 November 2022.  This visit is significant for South Africa and Ramaphosa personally, he is the first head of state to be hosted by King Charles III. 

The visit is seen as a possible reset of relationship between the two nations after COVID-19.  The South African government and citizens alike felt personally bruised by the UK’s red listing of South Africa for a second time in November 2021, in response to the Omicron variant – decimating the critical tourism sector for a second year in a row.  

Ramaphosa will meet UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to discuss bilateral on economic development.  The UK remains one of South Africa’s main trading partners.  Ramaphosa will push for strengthening of economic ties and investments in South Africa as the country continues to struggle in creating jobs.

Moreover, the discussions will also include the Just Energy Transition.  The UK is the largest state contributor to the 8.5$ billion pledged by Western nations to assist South Africa to transition from coal to clean energy sources.

Afrasid is available for analysis and commentary