Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to undertake a working visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, will undertake an Official Visit to the United Kingdom from 15 to 16 September 2010. The visit takes place within the context of strengthening North-South cooperation with the objective of deepening and broadening the current bilateral relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom. The Deputy President will meet with the new UK Coalition Government leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; and the new Minister for Africa, Mr Henry Bellingham; with an aim of establishing relationships with them.
The visit will see Deputy President Motlanthe raising several issues with the UK leadership which will include developments in the African continent and the promotion of the African Agenda as a cornerstone of South Africa’s foreign policy. The visit will also provide a platform for the two countries to consolidate and strengthen diplomatic relations, and broadening economic and commercial interaction.
Deputy President will also make use of the visit as an opportunity on behalf of the South African government to thank the United Kingdom for its support during 2010 FIFA World Cup; garner support for South Africa’s bid for a Non-Permanent seat in the UNSC for the 2011-12 period; and while building on the success of the State Visit that took place this year in March, maintain the momentum for the UK-SA Bilateral Forum to be held early in 2011.
UK is one of SA's major foreign trading partners. South Africa and the UK have extensive trade and economic relations, which at present continue to strengthen with a healthy flow of investments in both directions.
South Africa has been enjoying a trade surplus in its trade with UK since 1999. Between 2004 and 2005 South Africa’s trade surplus with the UK almost doubled from R6.77 billion to R12.247 billion. However, the UK trade deficit with South Africa is not unique. The UK’s deficit on trade in goods (with the rest of the world) has been growing for some time, rising from R129.95 billion in 1997 to approximately R769.43 billion in 2006. This has been attributed to the slowdown in the global economy, the UK’s strong domestic demand that has seen the country’s import bill increasing significantly and the strong Pound.
The UK Government, through the Department of International Development (DFID), envisages contributing £20 million a year over the next five years towards regional programmes in South Africa as part of the £100 million aid package for Southern Africa.
Currently, DFID has a number of operational projects in South Africa which include both civil society and government projects.
Deputy President Motlanthe will be supported by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu; Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan; Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim; and government officials.
For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
12 September 2010