President Cyril Ramaphosa’s upcoming public program demonstrates a strong emphasis on Africa, aligning with the commemoration of Africa Month. His schedule showcases a commitment to regional cooperation and economic development. This article will provide an overview of the President’s engagements, including the launch of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Africa Day celebrations, the Presidential Inauguration in Nigeria, and the Presidency Budget Vote. Furthermore, recent developments regarding constitutional amendments and the President’s decision on the review of Parliament’s Section 89 Panel Report will also be discussed.
A Step Towards Water and Energy Security
President Ramaphosa’s upcoming Working Visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho on May 23, 2023, marks the launch of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This joint initiative between South Africa and Lesotho aims to secure water resources and generate hydro-electric power. The project involves the construction of tunnels and dams to transfer water from the Lesotho Highlands to South Africa’s Vaal River System. By strengthening the historical and economic cooperation between the two nations, this project will contribute significantly to their mutual prosperity.
Celebrating Africa Day
On May 25, 2023, South Africa will join other nations in commemorating Africa Day. This annual celebration marks the establishment of the African Union (AU). This year’s Africa Month theme, “Deepening the AU Vision for Unity, Prosperity, and Modernity for a Better Africa and a Better World,” highlights the importance of regional integration and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. President Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the democratically elected President of South Africa, will deliver a keynote address at the national Africa Day celebrations. His speech will emphasize the continent’s development, cultural richness, and regional cooperation.
Bilateral Ties Strengthened
President Ramaphosa will attend the Inauguration of President-Elect Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Nigeria on May 29, 2023. This gesture demonstrates the significance of the relationship between South Africa and Nigeria. Nigeria is South Africa’s largest trade partner in West Africa, and both countries share a mutual goal of promoting economic growth and cooperation. President Ramaphosa’s presence at the inauguration further strengthens the bilateral ties between the two nations.
Addressing Key National Priorities
On May 31, 2023, President Ramaphosa will present the Presidency Budget Vote, outlining interventions and programs to address critical issues such as the electricity crisis and inclusive economic growth. As the pinnacle of executive leadership, the Presidency plays a crucial role in coordinating and overseeing all spheres of government. President Ramaphosa’s address to the National Assembly will emphasize his vision for inclusive growth and improved living conditions. This event will also provide an opportunity for Members of Parliament to engage in a debate on the Presidency Budget Vote.
Recent Constitutional Amendments and Review Withdrawal
The Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill, recently adopted by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, adds South African Sign Language as the twelfth official language of the country. This amendment promotes inclusivity and diversity, particularly for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. It also prohibits unfair discrimination based on disability. President Ramaphosa welcomes this amendment, as it aligns with South Africa’s commitment to upholding constitutional rights and promoting equality.
Additionally, the President has decided to withdraw the review of Parliament’s Section 89 Panel Report. This decision follows the Constitutional Court’s ruling not to engage with the merits of the application. While the President maintains his position on the reviewability of the Panel Report, the National Assembly’s rejection of the motion renders the report legally inconsequential. President Ramaphosa’s decision not to pursue