Reuters and AFP, August 28, 2018
Britain supports South Africa’s land reform programme provided it is carried out legally, Prime Minister Theresa May said in Cape Town on Tuesday, adding that she would discuss the issue with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The UK has for some time now supported land reform. Land reform that is legal, that is transparent, that is generated through a democratic process,” May said. “It’s an issue that I raised and discussed with President Ramaphosa when he was in London earlier this year. I’ll be talking about it with him later today.”
May has also pledged to prioritise investment in Africa as she started a three-nation visit to the continent to drum up new trade deals ahead of leaving the European Union.
Her tour of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya — May’s first to Africa since becoming premier in 2016 — is seen as an effort to reinforce Britain’s global ambitions after Brexit.
“By 2022, I want the UK to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa, with Britain’s private sector companies taking the lead,” May told business leaders.
“As prime minister of a trading nation whose success depends on global markets, I want to see strong African economies that British companies can do business with,” she said.
I want to create a new partnership between the UK and our friends in Africa built around shared prosperity and shared security.”
She announced a new four-billion-pound investment programme. There were no immediate details about the initiative. May added that Britain would also host an African investment summit next year, and would open new diplomatic missions across the continent.
May will later Tuesday present Ramaphosa with the bell from the troopship Mendi, which sank in the Channel in 1917 drowning more than 600 mainly South African troops who were set to join the Allied forces fighting in World War I. It was the worst maritime disaster in South Africa’s history, and has become a symbol of its Great War sacrifice. The bell was given to a BBC reporter in 2017 following an anonymous tip, according to the broadcaster.
The prime minister is also expected to visit Robben Island where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. May will head to Nigeria on Wednesday for meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital Abuja and with victims of modern slavery in Lagos.