12 December 2018

South Africa: President Ramaphosa Welcomes New Ambassadors

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed eight new ambassadors to South Africa.

The eight ambassadors are from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Denmark, Kingdom of Thailand, Kingdom of Peru, Kingdom of Norway, State of Kuwait and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

President Ramaphosa welcomed and received the letters of credence from the ambassadors at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Welcoming the ambassadors, President Ramaphosa said their deployment comes at a time when South Africa is making inroads in reviving its economy and hopes their appointment will assist the country in this regard.

"It is our sincere hope that you will convey to investors in your countries that South Africa is open for business.

"We are keen to work with you to ensure that South Africa becomes known as an investment destination that offers great returns," he said.

This comes as Statistics South Africa announced last week that the economy is showing signs of recovery, with 2.2% GDP growth in the third quarter of 2018.

Presenting his letter of credence, the Belgium ambassador Didier Vanderhasselt said he looks forward to deepening political and economic relations especially as the two countries both have a seat in the United Nations Security Council.

On land reform, the President assured the ambassadors that South Africa is determined to adhere to the rule of law and the principles enshrined in the constitution.

"We are accelerating land reform to unlock the economic potential of this important asset and bring more South Africans into the productive economy.

"We want to use this process to stimulate economic growth, reduce rural poverty, increase agricultural production and give poor urban dwellers ownership of homes close to economic opportunities," he said.

With 2018 marking the centenary year of former President Nelson Mandela's death, President Ramaphosa called on the new ambassadors to honour his memory by sparing no effort in their mission.

"Working together, and in memory of Nelson Mandela, let us spare neither effort nor strength in our mission to make the world a better place for all to live in," said President Ramaphosa.

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