Media conflated Ramaphosa’s meeting with Chinese ‘with other meetings held on SA economy’: Presidency

Picture: Katlholo Maifadi.
Picture: Katlholo Maifadi.

It was the prospect of twinning Guandong and KwaZulu-Natal.

That’s the real reason Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa met with “with officials from the Chinese Communist Party”‚ according to the Presidency on Sunday night.

The Presidency wished to “correct the erroneous impression created by a Johannesburg newspaper” that the Chinese had “raised concern about the political and economic instability in South Africa‚ and not political and economic instability in South Africa”.

The statement did not name the newspaper but the Sunday Times reported that it had learnt that Chinese investors are worried about the billions of rands invested in the South Africa and what a downturn in the economy would mean.

In the article — about the fallout over Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s standoff with the Hawks last week — Ramaphosa’s spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa was quoted as saying the meeting was tourism-related and not about South Africa’s economic situation.

“The Presidency feels obliged‚ in view of the media reports‚ to make it clear that the courtesy call was directed at consolidating existing bilateral relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China‚” its statement said.

“The facts are that the Governor of Guandong Province‚ Mr ZHU Xiaodan‚ paid a courtesy call on Deputy President Ramaphosa in Johannesburg on Friday 26 August 2016.

“Specifically‚ the exchange focused on the prospect of a twinning agreement between Guandong and KwaZulu-Natal to enhance cooperation in a number of economic sectors.”

“The suggestion that a Chinese delegation had raised national developments within South Africa is wholly incorrect‚ and may arise from the conflation of the courtesy visit with other meetings held on the same day on the South African economy.” – TMG Digital




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