President Ramaphosa to Attend Queen’s Funeral During US UK Visit. Photo: Twitter / Royal Family
President Ramaphosa to Attend Queen’s Funeral During US UK Visit. Photos: Twitter / Royal Family and Twitter / The Presidency

President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to London, from the USA, this weekend to attend events associated with the Queen’s Funeral.

The President will be meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington DC on Friday (16 Sep), before heading to the UK for various events following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Following his arrival in London on Sunday, 18 September, the President will attend The King’s Reception – a reception hosted by His Majesty King Charles III in honour of Heads of State and Government and guests invited to attend the State Funeral Service – at Buckingham Palace,” the Presidency said.

On Monday, the South African President will be among world leaders attending the State Funeral Service for Her Majesty The Queen at Westminster Abbey, London.

Immediately after Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral Service, the UK Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, will host a reception for Heads of State and Government and other distinguished guests in the precincts of Westminster Abbey.

Before his UK trip, President Ramaphosa plans to build relations with SA’s third largest trade partner, the US.

In a statement, The Presidency said President Ramaphosa was expected to depart yesterday for Washington DC, where he will honour an invitation by President Joe Biden for engagement between the two leaders.

“The leaders will meet at the White House on Friday to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, including trade and investment, climate change, food security, energy, and peace and security,” the Presidency said.

During the visit, President Ramaphosa will reaffirm the importance of the strategic and mutually beneficial relations between South Africa and the United States.

“The President will further emphasise the need for enhanced multilateralism and dialogue as the means through which the challenges facing humanity can be addressed. These include the urgent need to stimulate economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Presidency said.

While in Washington DC, President Ramaphosa and his delegation will meet Congressional leaders and the veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, who were instrumental in lobbying the American public against apartheid and who remain loyal to the cause of anti-racism in both the United States and South Africa.

The United States is a major export market for South Africa, a significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, development assistance and tourism.

Trade and investment relations take place under the auspices of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which grants duty-free and quota-free access to the US market for value-added products.

AGOA has created jobs in both South Africa and the US, and is thus mutually beneficial.

The United States is South Africa’s third largest trading partner (after China and the European Union), with more than 600 United States companies operating in South Africa.

In 2021, the United States ranked as the second largest destination for South Africa’s exports globally.

According to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the United States accounts for 17.4% of total South African outward FDI to the world.

The Presidency emphasised that the President’s visit to the United States provides a platform for strengthening bilateral relations with the United States through the engagement with President Biden.