Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of the Presentation of Credentials by Heads of Mission accredited to South Africa, Sefako Makgatho Guesthouse, Pretoria
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners and Ambassadors Designate,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you all.
I am honoured to formally welcome you to the southernmost part of the African continent, our beloved country, the Republic of South Africa.
I wish to congratulate you, Your Excellencies, on your appointment to be the esteemed representative of your respective countries within our shores for the next few years.
I wish you success in the execution of all your responsibilities.
Your presence here is a clear confirmation that South Africa indeed has friends.
It has friends on whom it can rely as it plays its role in the struggle for a world that observes and respects the equality of all people and indeed of all sovereign states.
It is friends like you with whom we seek to work to protect and strengthen the rules-based multilateral system of global governance.
We should work together discourage unilateralism in matters of international trade and security.
The history of the modern world provides ample evidence of the shortcomings and potential damage of unilateral action.
We must work together to defend the integrity of our multilateral institutions by ensuring that they are effective, inclusive and truly democratic.
No country must be made to feel that its views are not important and that decisions of intergovernmental organisations are predetermined by a few based on their economic and military power.
The structure of the United Nations Security Council, for example, remains an area of great concern for many of us, especially countries of the South.
We will therefore seek broad cooperation as we strive for the fundamental reform of the Security Council as part of the democratisation of all multilateral bodies charged with ensuring peace, security and sustainable development.
We must strengthen these institutions because they are best placed to drive solutions to some of the stubborn challenges we are facing as a global community.
These include poverty, inequality, war, terrorism and climate change.
These challenge are inter-related and mutually reinforcing.
We will not be able to end conflict and achieve peace unless we tackle poverty and reduce inequality.
A more peaceful and stable world creates the conditions for greater and more inclusive economic growth.
I am certain that we can work together to advance the cause of a progressive humanity because of the many bonds that tie our nations together the most important of which is our shared and common desire to create a more just and humane world.
You are arriving in our country at a time when we are seized with efforts to revive our economy, create jobs, alleviate poverty and significantly reduce inequality.
To this effect, we will be hosting the second South Africa Investment Conference next month, from the 5th to the 7th of November.
It is at that conference where business leaders and investors from all around the world and our own country will be able to explore the abundant investment opportunities in our country across a broad range of dynamic sectors that make up our economy.
From mining to agriculture, from advanced manufacturing to renewable energy, South Africa offers much to investors that are seeking new frontiers of growth and new nodes of profitability.
We have prioritised efforts to reduce the cost and improve the ease of doing business in our country.
Working with our partners in business, labour and communities, we are removing regulatory and other obstacles to greater investment.
We are making it easier and less costly for tourists and business people to visit our shores, and we are making it easier to attract really valuable skills from abroad.
We welcome investors from your respective countries to attend this Investment Conference and to see for themselves the potential for opportunities that exist in South Africa.
We have placed the imperative of greater and more inclusive growth at the top of our national agenda because we seek to create a better life for all the people of South Africa.
We are working to address the devastating effects of our apartheid past as we also seek to overcome some of the reversals of the last decade.
Our transformation process is wholesome and comprehensive.
We have made much progress in building and rebuilding public institutions that were damaged by state capture and corruption and restore confidence in our law enforcement agencies.
We have strengthened the fight against crime and violence, which to the distress of our people continues to plague our country.
It is important also that I reflect on an occasion such as this on the recent public violence that was directed, at least in part, against foreign nationals living in our country.
This violence during which both South Africans and foreign nationals lost their lives and properties is an affront to the values which we hold dear.
We condemn such heinous acts of criminality, which should never again happen in our land.
We are committed to respect the rights of all people within our borders, to strengthen the rule of law and to promote tolerance and understanding.
We are also working to address the specific social and economic factors that gave rise to frustration and anger among some of our people.
For decades, South Africans have lived peacefully alongside people from other parts of the African continent and beyond sharing resources, learning from one another and deepening our multiculturalism, including through marriage.
We have a responsibility as leaders to understand the reality of international migration and put in place fair, sustainable and rights-based policies to manage it.
As the government and the people of South Africa, we look forward to deepening our economic partnership, political dialogue and cooperation on matters of mutual interest.
I wish you an enjoyable and meaningful stay in South Africa.
I thank you.
Source: Government of South Africa