By Fiona Wakelin

In his letter to the nation in the first week of June, President Ramaphosa announced that he would be travelling to the United Kingdom to attend the G7 Leaders Summit, together with other invited guest countries: South Korea, Australia and India. 


The purpose of the summit is to discuss how to promote future prosperity through free and fair trade, championing shared values and tackling climate change, with the global recovery from COVID-19 likely to be on the agenda. 


The issuing of this invitation is an indicator that the G7 acknowledges South Africa’s role in driving the continental response to COVID during the time that our President was chairing the African Union – and the contribution our country can make to global progress. 


“Gatherings such as the G7 are important opportunities for South Africa to promote its view of a fairer and more peaceful world. They are also an opportunity to promote our country as a destination in which to invest and do business, as a partner for development, and as an ally in resolving the most pressing social and political issues facing humankind. These gatherings also give us an opportunity to promote our continent as a destination for investment.


“Our delegation to the G7 Summit will be able to talk about the progress we are making in overcoming the pandemic and the measures we have taken towards our national recovery that are slowly but steadily yielding results. 


“We will be able to talk about the green shoots of economic progress I spoke of in the Presidency Budget vote in Parliament last week. Among them are the tangible results of commitments made by this administration to resolve challenges that have long hindered our economic growth” – President Ramaphosa.


 At the Summit Hon. Ramaphosa will have the opportunity to share with global powers the signals that indicate our country is emerging from the devastation wrought by the pandemic; these signs include a strengthening currency, a record trade surplus, and growth in mining, financial services and manufacturing. Important to note is the Presidential Employment Stimulus which, since it was launched towards the end of 2020, has directly benefited nearly 700 000 people.


“The message I will be taking to the G7 Summit will be one of hope about the prospects for our country’s recovery, and indeed the global recovery.”

And while this is something to celebrate, President Ramaphosa acknowledges the frustration many are feeling at the high unemployment rate, exacerbated by the financial global meltdown of more than a decade ago – and more recently the Covid pandemic – as well as the issues of corruption and energy shortages.  In his letter he uses the opportunity to encourage us to be optimistic, rally together and to know that the government is acknowledging its shortcomings and is working to remedy them.


“Throughout the course of our history we have had setbacks and false starts. But our resilient nature allowed us to weather many storms. It is this drive and determination that must continue to propel us forward as our country recovers socially, politically and economically.


Let us look ahead and move forward. Let us nurture the green shoots of progress. Let us not only hope for better days, but let us work even harder to achieve them,” – President Ramaphosa.



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