Meet the new Ambassadors to South Africa

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed sixteen ambassadors to South Africa.

The sixteen ambassadors are from India, Australia, Morocco, Zambia, France, Lesotho, Switzerland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Guatemala, Niger, Ireland, the European Union, Cyprus, Rwanda and Malta.

President Ramaphosa welcomed and received the letters of credence from the Ambassadors and Heads of Mission-designates at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The Ambassadors are due to advance diplomatic relations between their home countries and South Africa.

Welcoming the ambassadors, President Ramaphosa said they arrive at a time when South Africa is seized with efforts to revive its economy, create jobs, alleviate poverty and significantly reduce inequality.

To this effect, he invited the Ambassadors to the second South Africa Investment Conference scheduled for the 5th to the 7th of November 2019.

“It is at that conference where business leaders and investors from all around the world and our own country will be able to explore the abundant investment opportunities in our country across a broad range of dynamic sectors that make up our economy,” said President Ramaphosa.

He highlighted the vast opportunities that the country has to offer in areas of mining, agriculture, advanced manufacturing and renewable energy and urged Ambassadors to seek out these new frontiers of growth and new nodes of profitability.

To position South Africa as an investment destination, the President pointed out the strides that make the country attractive for investment.

“We have prioritised efforts to reduce the cost and improve the ease of doing business in our country.

“Working with our partners in business, labour and communities, we are removing regulatory and other obstacles to greater investment,” he said.

Presenting her letter of credence to the President, Australian High Commissioner Gita Kamath said her country, as South Africa’s largest export market on the continent is looking forward to the upcoming Investment Conference.

"We are looking forward to the Investment Conference as the number one investor in the mining sector, the number two investor in business process outsourcing and I think the seventh largest investor last year overall. We have great co-operation in science and technology through our co-hosting of the Square Kilometre Array and lets not mention our very friendly rivalry on the sporting field. I look forward in my role to build on these very strong relations," said Kamath.

Move towards multilateralism

President Ramaphosa also called on the Ambassadors to reject unilateralism in matters of international trade and security and work towards multilateralism.

“The history of the modern world provides ample evidence of the shortcomings and potential damage of unilateral action.

“No country must be made to feel that its views are not important and that decisions of intergovernmental organisations are predetermined by a few based on their economic and military power,” said the President.

The structure of the United Nations Security Council, especially for countries of the South, was among the issues the President raised that require reform.

President Ramaphosa took the opportunity to reflect the recent public violence that was directed, at least in part, against foreign nationals living in the country.

He assured Ambassadors that South Africa is working to address the specific social and economic factors that gave rise to frustration and anger among some people. –