Kemi Badenoch will host a roundtable forum with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa today, with the trade secretary looking to boost exports to the continent.
Badenoch said this morning that a “UK-South Africa Investment Taskforce” was looking to break down trade barriers with the Commonwealth nation, however there are no current plans to extend the trade deal currently in place.
The EU’s trade deal with South Africa’s Customs Union, which includes several other African nations, was rolled over and replicated by UK negotiators post-Brexit.
Ramaphosa is on his second day of his state visit to the UK – the first under the reign of King Charles III.
He yesterday attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace – the first of its kind since Donald Trump’s 2018 visit – and will today hold a bilateral meeting with Rishi Sunak.
Badenoch said: “Today we’re moving into a new era of our dynamic trade relationship with South Africa, with exciting collaboration on infrastructure, clean technology and renewable energy sources.
“These new opportunities will unlock trade and investment for businesses from the Eastern Cape to East Anglia and help boost growth, create jobs and future-proof our economies against a changing world.”
It comes after Ramaphosa yesterday called on the UK to give climate reparations to lower-income nations like South Africa.
Ramaphosa told a joint sitting of parliament today that countries like South Africa should receive funding from rich countries as “a compensation for the harm done … to people in developing economies as a consequence of the industrialisation that wealthy countries have had”.
Number 10 ruled out the possibility of climate reparations today.