Deputy President Motlanthe concludes visit to the United Kingdom
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has today, 16 September 2010, concluded his two-day working visit to the United Kingdom where he was leading a high level delegation to reinforce economic and political relations.
The Deputy President was supported in this visit by Ministers of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Minerals Resources Susan Shabangu and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim.
Both the Deputy President and Minister Shabangu met investors in the mining sector and emphasized that South Africa is committed to an efficient, fair and transparent business environment, including security of tenure and the processing of mining licenses. He described the mining sector as critical and a “continued backbone of the South African economy”.
The Deputy President described the visit as a success. “We met a number of investors, analysts and business representatives here in London and managed to put our position on a number of issues quite clearly. Where there may have been concerns about certain issues surrounding the mining industry in our country, we managed to address these and are leaving with a sense that there is no trepidation about continued investment in mining,” he said.
The Deputy President also met his counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the two expressed the desire to actualise the commitment to double trade between the two countries by 2015. In this regard, the Deputy President highlighted the enthusiasm on the South Africa part to double trade on all economic sectors.
The meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister was the first at this level with the new coalition government and the Deputy President described the reception as warm and said that the UK government showed a keen interest in strengthening relations with the government of South Africa.
Deputy President Motlanthe commenced his visit by addressing a post 2010 FIFA World Cup media briefing at the South African High Commission where he spoke about the social and economic benefits for South Africa that flowed from the country’s hosting of the tournament.
He also spoke about the lessons that the country has learnt from hosting the World Cup, for example, large-scale project management, delivery of bulk infrastructure within agreed timelines and improved policing. These will remain a legacy and a learning platform on how government can deliver services efficiently and with minimum turnaround times.
The highlight of the Deputy President’s visit was his address this morning at The Economist Summit on Emerging Markets where he articulated Africa’s position as a strongly emerging region worthy of foreign direct investment.
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Issued by the Presidency