Media Statement

26 March 2016

President Zuma arrives in Riyadh on a State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

President Jacob Zuma has this evening, 26 March 2016, arrived in Riyadh, ahead of his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia taking place tomorrow on 27 March 2016.

South Africa and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial bilateral relations.  For many years prior to the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1994, Saudi Arabia took a leading position in the Arab world in opposing the injustices of the Apartheid system.

The State Visit of the President will serve as an important structural catalyst to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations, in particular by strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade and investment and in support of expanding cultural and people-to-people interaction between the two countries.

The State Visit to Saudi Arabia by President Zuma is the third Presidential visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the first State Visit by the late former President Nelson Mandela in 1997 and a Working Visit by former President Thabo Mbeki in 2007.

Bilateral relations between the two countries are managed through the Joint Economic Commission, which held its 7th session from 14-15 March 2016 in Cape Town, under the leadership of Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and his Saudi counterpart, Dr Tawfeeq Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

To further strengthen trade, investment and economic ties, including Business – to – Business cooperation between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a substantive business delegation is accompanying President Zuma on the visit.

In March this year, Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power announced R 15 billion investment in the solar plant project in the town of Groblershoop in the Northern Cape, with the capacity to power more than 200,000 households.

President Zuma is accompanied on the State Visit by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security;  Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs and Mr Nathi Nhleko, Minister of Police.

Enquiries: Bongani Majola on 082 339 1993 or or Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974 or

Issued by The Presidency



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