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The two countries recognise each other as prominent members of their respective regions, namely the GCC and SADC respectively.  Saudi officials and ministers have repeatedly referred to South Africa as their strategic African partner. 

In 2018 the Minister of Trade and Industry led the South African delegation for the 8th Session of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC).  A number of Saudi ministers have visited RSA over the past two years following up on issues raised during the 2018 state visit. 

The two nations (RSA and KSA), have a lot in common and their similarities are more strategic.  Their developmental programmes, namely, the NDP (RSA) and Vision 2030 (KSA) envisage a future based on diversified economies not dependent on the export of raw natural resources, development of physical infrastructure, and prosperous neighbourhoods.  They have both committed themselves to cleaner forms of energy.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has identified President Cyril Ramaphosa as a close ally in Africa and is going out of his way to strengthen their official cooperation.  When President Ramaphosa made a call for $100 billion investment in five years, Saudi Arabia pledged a $10 billion investment.  That pledge has been developed into the idea of an oil refinery, a petro-chemical plant project both planned for Richards Bay, as well as a gas-to-energy project planned for the Eastern Cape. 

Socially, the KSA population is reported to be approximately 32 million (including expats), with all Saudis being Muslims by definition. Adherence to Islamic values and maintenance of social stability in the context of rapid economic change has been consistent goals of the Kingdom’s development plans. Major variations in accumulated wealth, although distinctive income groups exists, they are all bound together by kinship and religion.
HE Mr CT Rubushe
Head of Mission
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