As SA gets stage 6 load-shedding, Ramaphosa prepares to head to Egypt

09 December 2019 - 19:41 By Matthew Savides
President Cyril Ramaphosa and key government ministers are off to Egypt for a summit - despite Eskom ramping up load-shedding to unprecedented levels.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and key government ministers are off to Egypt for a summit - despite Eskom ramping up load-shedding to unprecedented levels.
Image: Gallo Images

Less than an hour after Eskom announced unprecedented stage 6 load-shedding on Monday, it was announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be leaving for Egypt on Tuesday.

In a statement issued at about 6.30pm - around 30 minutes after stage 6 shedding kicked in - the presidency said Ramaphosa would embark on an "official visit" to Egypt. While there he will take part in the inaugural Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development on Wednesday.

"South Africa and Egypt enjoy cordial bilateral relations underpinned by strong historical and fraternal bonds, dating back to the era of the liberation struggle. South Africa considers Egypt a strategic partner which supported the liberation struggle," said the statement.

"The official visit will provide President Ramaphosa an opportunity to engage with President Fatah El-Sisi on further strengthening and deepening the good bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Egypt.

"The two leaders will also explore new possible areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing and agro-processing."

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by a delegation of ministers from various departments, including international relations and cooperation minister Naledi Pandor, defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel, state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo and tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

Twitter users were quick to criticise the timing of Ramaphosa's visit.

"Why the hell are you there? Get home and get the lights back on!" one wrote.

"Thanks but shouldn't he be in the country at the moment, considering the energy challenges confronting the nation?" said another.


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