In December 2016 the Chancellor showcased the UK’s commitment to forming stronger economic and financial ties with South Africa, visiting Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Holding talks with his counterpart, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as well as senior leaders and businesses, the Chancellor offered support to key industries for the UK economy such as financial services.
In the series of meetings held with senior political leaders, the Chancellor confirmed:
Up to £35 million for an ambitious new prosperity programme over the next four years supporting inclusive economic development in South Africa by working together to tackle barriers to trade and growth, increase competiveness, and improve ease of doing business. This funding is a key part of the UK’s strategy for helping promote economic growth.
£28 million committed to extend the UK-South Africa Newton Partnerships to 2021. The Newton Fund uses science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and the social welfare of partner countries. The four year extension to 2021 will further strengthen research and innovation ties between the two countries. The global Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and now has a total UK investment of £735 million. This is matched with resources from partner countries.
Grant of £4.8m for the African Risk Capacity Agency to support their plans for expansion. The African Risk Capacity enables participating African governments to insure themselves against natural disasters and harvest failures. This grant will support their scale up to insure more countries and hazards in coming years, reaching 150 million of the G7’s InsuResilience target of 180 million people for Africa by 2020.
Premier Skills programme investment doubled by the British Council and Premier League. Premier Skills, in partnership with The South African Football Association, uses football to engage youth and develop their leadership and global citizenship skills by empowering grass-root coaches and young footballers across South Africa and help them achieve greater goals in their communities. The commitment of £400,000 over the next three years will see the programme operate in KwaZulu-Natal for the first time, in support of the drive to increase participation in sport ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Durban 2022. Since 2014 it has reached 219 coaches and referees and 13,663 young people.
Building on the close business ties between the UK and South Africa, the visit also saw a number of commercial announcements including:
Rolls Royce service contract with South African Airways worth $180 million. South African Airways have signed a new TotalCare service order for Trent 700 engines made by British company Rolls Royce that power five Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent 700 engines are made in Derby, UK.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed by Mott MacDonald with China Overseas Infrastructure Development and Investment Corporation Limited. An important new approach by organisations in both countries towards project development in Africa worth £10 million over the next 10 years.
MTS, a London Stock Exchange Group Company, has also been selected by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to provide its industry-leading trading technology and services for the introduction of electronic market making and trading in South African government bonds.
FinTech start-up Ayda Solutions Ltd and Global Ticketing Ltd signed an agreement for Global Ticketing to sell Ayda’s Panadrix branded technology platform for ticketing, venue and event management in South Africa. Under this agreement, Ayda Solutions will provide the technology and will train a team to be recruited and managed by Global Ticketing to sell and support the solution in South Africa. The business is expected to deliver £1m in value as well as to create 15 jobs in South Africa.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:
As Britain leaves the EU, we will be deepening our work with our international partners to build ever stronger economic links around the world. South Africa is a key strategic partner for the UK in Africa and internationally, and we are determined to see that go from strength to strength.
During my visit I had a number of constructive talks with senior government ministers, business leaders and commentators on how the UK can deepen our economic and investment ties and forge an even closer partnership between our two nations.
In addition, the trip included meetings at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, followed by a roundtable with individuals from major South African business sectors.
The Chancellor also met FinTech start-ups, inward investors to the UK and attended a South Africa Youth reception in partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
South Africa is the UK’s biggest export market in Africa and our bilateral trade reached nearly £8 billion in 2015.