Zuma wraps up UK visit

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is today wrapping up his state visit to Britain where he clarified government's position on the nationalisation of mines and allayed fears about security during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

After an official farewell from Queen Elizabeth, Zuma will go see Prince Charles and British volunteers working in South Africa.

He will also address the UK-South Africa Business Seminar attended by more than 200 South African business leaders.

The seminar - aimed at boosting investment and trade ties between the two countries - will also discuss climate change, in which both countries are playing a leading international role, and the global economic downturn.

On Thursday, Zuma held talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown with Zimbabwe topping the agenda.

Zuma had suggested sanctions should be eased to help the country move forward - a call that was rejected by Brown.

He also visited the Wembley Stadium, the home of British football, to assure prospective World Cup visitors of their safety during the tournament.

Later in the evening Zuma and his delegation attended the Lord Mayor's Banquet where he spoke about South Africa's long economic and cultural links to the UK.

He also emphasised the constantly evolving ties between the UK and South Africa.

Zuma said the relations were forged not through bilateral agreements but through study, culture, friendship, marriage, sport and food.

However he said the two counties needed to take the economic, political, social and cultural ties beyond the current levels.

Zuma also reassured the UK that there is no discussion within the South African government about the nationalisation of mines.

"There is no law that authorizes the South African Government to nationalize mines or mineral resources. The nationalisation of mines is not government policy at all.

"Nothing has changed in this regard," said Zuma.