Home South Africa Ramaphosa reflects on SA-UK relations in House of Commons – SABC News

Ramaphosa reflects on SA-UK relations in House of Commons – SABC News

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President Cyril Ramaphosa told the House of Commons in London that the story of Britain and South Africa is one of redemption and transformation in the relationship between the two countries.

The President is in Great Britain on a two-day state visit at the invitation of King Charles III.

Addressing parliamentarians, Ramaphosa said that after the colonial era of conflict and dispossession, the relationship was now marked by a shared desire for equality, human rights and realizing the potential for all.

“Over the last three decades, it has been a story of trade, investment, tourism, sports, education, art, science and innovation. We therefore see this visit as an opportunity to celebrate our current relationship as equal partners working together for the prosperity and security of our people.”

Climate change

Ramaphosa called on industrialized nations, including the UK, to contribute to climate action financing for low- and middle-income countries in the form of grants and highly concessional loans.

He thanked the UK for its commitment to delivering a just energy transition in South Africa that would reduce carbon emissions without negatively impacting people’s lives and livelihoods.

At last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow, the United Kingdom, along with the United States, the European Union and France, pledged $8.5 billion to South Africa.

Ramaphosa says that those countries that bear the least responsibility for global warming are the most vulnerable to its effects in the form of droughts, floods and rising sea levels.

“This places a responsibility on industrialized countries to contribute significant resources to low- and middle-income countries to finance their climate action, and this should not be seen as charity. It is compensation for the damage done – and the damage yet to be done – to people in developing countries by the industrialization of rich countries over many years.”

Trade and investment

Ramaphosa urged British companies to step up trade and investment opportunities in South Africa.

The President noted that now is the time to restore trade, commerce and investment ties between the two countries.

The UK is the largest foreign investor in South Africa and the country’s fifth largest export destination, as well as the largest source of tourists from outside Africa for the past twenty years.

“There are few countries that have such in-depth experience and knowledge of the South African economy than Britain. British companies need to use this advantage more effectively to seek investment and trade opportunities in our country.’

In the video below, Ramaphosa addresses parliamentarians in the House of Commons:

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