President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a state visit to the People’s Republic of China with whom South Africa has entered into several agreements that will enable economic growth and educational opportunities, among other benefits.
One agreement alone – on investment and trade promotion between the two countries – carries a monetary value of approximately R14 billion.
The state visit took place in Beijing on Sunday 2 September 2018, at the invitation of the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping.
From Monday, 3 September, President Ramaphosa will serve as Co-Chair of the two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in the Chinese capital.
During the state visit, President Ramaphosa and President Xi witnessed the signing of various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Agreement at a ceremony held at the Great Hall on Sunday, 02 September 2018. The agreements signed include commitments on cooperation in the fields of climate change, water resources, transported related infrastructure and refurbishments to a number of technical and vocational training (TVET) colleges.
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) exchanged letters of commitment with the Chinese Embassy on the upgrading and refurbishment of Tshwane North and the Tshwane South TVET Colleges. This will entail the construction of student support centres, teaching buildings, workshops, a multipurpose indoor facility and an enclosing wall.
The agreements further include a MoU between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China to cooperate on international investment promotion for South Africa’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Industrial Parks. The following projects within the Musina-Makhado SEZ have been prioritised for implementation – a 4600MW coal-fired plant, a cement plant and other metallurgical projects.
The projects will see the investment, planning, constructing and operation of coking, ferromanganese, ferrochromium, silico-manganese, stainless steel, supporting administrative service centre and living areas, highways and a shipping integrated logistics centre among others.
The two Presidents also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the dti and the Bank of China on promoting trade and investment relations, with a special focus on SEZs and Industrial Parks. This will include capacity and institution building and investment facilitation. This project has a monetary value of USD 1.1 billion.
Most of the agreements are aligned to the commitments made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in Johannesburg in December 2015.
President Ramaphosa has called on South African companies to work in partnership, consolidate South African interests on the African continent and to collaborate with China on projects in line with South Africa’s development and integration objectives.
“At the centre of our engagement with China is the task of creating jobs for South Africans,” said President Ramaphosa. “We have made great progress but there is huge potential that remains untapped.”
Cell: 072 854 5707