PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA WELCOMES CHANCELLOR SCHOLZ AT THE UNION BUILDINGS

Photo: Chancellor Scholz and President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Germany Official Visit at the Union Buildings, Tshwane

24 May 2022

President Ramaphosa welcomed Chancellor Scholz at the Union Buildings. Scholz is on an official visit at the invitation of President Ramaphosa.

The visit is of great importance due to the strategic nature of South Africa’s relationship with Germany.

Germany is South Africa’s second largest trading partner and in tourism, the third largest single source of overseas arrivals.

Germany is also a major investment source and development partner.

In his remarks during the Germany Official Visit at the Union Buildings, Tshwane, President Cyril Ramaphosa said it is an honour to receive Chancellor Scholz and his delegation this morning.

Germany is one of South Africa’s most valued strategic partners.

It is our second largest trading partner, a major investor and a big market for inbound tourism.

South Africa is currently home to around 600 German companies and bilateral trade between our two countries is growing.

We have discussed avenues to increase trade and investment of German companies in South Africa, but also of South African companies into Germany.

Germany is committed to support our efforts towards industrialisation, infrastructure development and job creation as laid out in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Germany has been a partner in development since the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries and the inauguration of the Bi-National Commission in 1996.

This cooperation has been in a range of fields, including good governance and strengthening democracy, HIV prevention, climate actions and energy.

On the latter, we have discussed the next steps in the Just Transition Partnership concluded between South Africa, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union last year.

This historic partnership will support our just transition to a low-carbon economy and climate resilient society in a manner that leaves no-one behind.

Later today, Chancellor Scholz and his delegation will be visiting Sasol, where we will be launching a historic partnership for the development of carbon emissions reduction technologies, including green hydrogen.

Another important area of cooperation between our two countries is that of vocational training and how young people can be more effectively integrated into the world of work.

The Federal Republic of Germany has been a dependable supporter of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have expressed our gratitude to Chancellor Schulz for the assistance Germany has given not just to South Africa, but the entire African continent.

We also discussed the support Germany can lend to our efforts to ensure that vaccines produced in Africa are given greater market share in developed countries, and that vaccines destined for African populations should be procured locally.

Chancellor Scholz and I also discussed a broad range of international issues.

These included the pursuit of peace and security on the African continent.

We also discussed the conflict in Ukraine and the need for the international community to encourage dialogue and negotiation towards a peaceful resolution.

Scholz arrived in South Africa after visiting Senegal and Niger, where he expressed Germany’s interest in gas exploration opportunities in Senegal and his country’s long-term military and financial assistance to Niger.

Scholz stressed at a joint press conference in Pretoria. South Africa is Germany’s key partner south of the Sahara and is the only African member of the G20.

The Federal Chancellor informed journalists that he had invited South Africa to attend the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau as a guest: “This will send out a common message about strong democracies that are aware of their global responsibilities,”  Scholz said, the aim was to put in place concrete initiatives and partnerships for the climate and sustainable investment.

Scholz noted that there was a desire to work together to improve food security, to raise health standards around the world and make democracies more resilient. “I am delighted that South Africa has accepted my invitation and will participate,” said the Federal Chancellor.

From Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine to the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, global challenges “make huge impacts on our everyday lives,” Scholz called for solidarity and intensive cooperation to mitigate these impacts, “which is one of the reasons I’ve come to Africa,” Europe was currently faced with “a dreadful war following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” This war was not only affecting Europe, “which is why I have reassured the President that we are acutely aware of the serious consequences of this war for Africa.”

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The Diplomatic Informer
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