India-South Africa Joint Statement/Joint Communiqué of the State Visit of President Cyril Ramaphosa to India

25 – 26 January 2019


At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the President of the Republic of South Africa His Excellency Mr. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by first lady Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, 09 Cabinet Ministers, senior officials and a large business delegation is on a State Visit to the Republic of India on 25-26 January 2019. President Ramaphosa on his first State visit to India is also the Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2019.


President Ramaphosa was accorded a ceremonial welcome on January 25, 2019 at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. President Kovind is hosting a banquet dinner on January 25, 2019 in honour of the visiting President of South Africa. President Ramaphosa accompanied by Dr. Motsepe also paid respects to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated both nationally and internationally.


President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Modi held delegation level talks at Hyderabad House on January 25, 2019. The two leaders held discussions in the spirit of the strategic partnership, strong friendship and historical links between the two countries. Both leaders acknowledged the significance of the 100th birth anniversary celebrations of Nelson Mandela and the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi as an invaluable legacy of peace, non-violence and compassion.


President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Modi jointly addressed the India-South Africa Business Forum on January 25, 2019, with a focus to grow business ties between the two countries. President Ramaphosa also delivered the inaugural IBSA Gandhi-Mandela Freedom Lecture, in the presence of Prime Minister of India.


During the visit, a Three-Year Strategic Programme of Cooperation (2019-2021) was signed by the two sides, aimed at further enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries.


During the visit, Prime Minister Modi and President Ramaphosa:


  • recalled the Strategic Partnership established between India and South Africa through the Red Fort Declaration of March 1997 and the Tshwane Declaration of October 2006.
  • expressed satisfaction at the deepening and widening of this comprehensive bilateral partnership.
  • emphasised the need to further deepen relations in the political, economic, defense, scientific, consular and socio-cultural spheres.
  • agreed that the 10th Session of the India-South Africa Joint Ministerial Commission will be held in 2019 in New Delhi led by the Foreign Ministers of both the countries.
  • expressed satisfaction at the steady pace of cooperation in the defence sector encompassing a wide range of engagements including defence production, joint collaboration, manufacturing, research and development, training and joint exercises.
  • recognised the importance of increased bilateral naval cooperation and closer synergy within the context of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) which, by keeping the sea lanes secure against illegal actors, will ensure unhindered passage for trade and continued prosperity of the entire Indian Ocean Region.
  • acknowledged the increasing engagement between the two navies in recent years which inter alia has translated to increased interactions in maritime operations and training. PM Modi welcomed the participation of the South African National Defence Force in the First Multinational India-Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX) in March 2019 at Pune, India.
  • welcomed the holding of the inaugural meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment (JWGTI).
  • welcomed the significant investment and presence of a large number of Indian companies and business entities in South Africa and the growing number of South African investments in India. In this regard, agreed to enhance bilateral investments between the two countries within the context of the Memorandum of Understanding between Invest SA and Invest India on enhancing bilateral investment relations.
  • agreed to cooperate, share best practices, technology and expertise on the Ease of Doing Business Reform Programme.
  • committed to expanding cooperation in the fields of trade and investments between business entities in South Africa and India
  • agreed to cooperate in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which play an invaluable role in job creation and creating trade and investment opportunities.
  • acknowledging the holding of the first India-South Africa Business Summit in South Africa in April 2018 and the Invest in India Business Forum in November 2018, invited the private sectors to invest in key economic sectors of India and South Africa
  • agreed that both countries should explore solutions aimed at boosting trade and investment. In this context, President Ramaphosa agreed to simplify and reform South African business visa regime.
  • acknowledged the impressive progress achieved in cooperation in Science and Technology and innovations.
  • agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of the Oceans Economy and to cooperate in multilateral forums on the Blue Economy including in the framework of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
  • expressed satisfaction at the growing cooperation in the energy sector, and the potential to expand cooperation in the renewable energy sector as well as oil and gas.
  • agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of mining, deep mining and mineral beneficiation.
  • acknowledged that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a common platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries. India invited South Africa to join the ISA.
  • agreed to strengthen agriculture and fisheries cooperation in areas such as crop and animal production, food security, aquaculture and aquatic product processing.
  • agreed to work towards addressing skills development through the investment of resources and exchange of best practices.
  • welcomed the setting up of the “Gandhi – Mandela Centre of Specialization for Artisan Skills” in South Africa with Indian assistance.
  • Decided to further strengthen academic engagement between institutions on both sides. President Ramaphosa appreciated India’s contribution to the higher education of South African youth through the fully paid scholarships offered under the ICCR and short term training programmes under IAFS and ITEC Schemes.
  • the two sides further agreed to conclude a MoU on Cooperation in Higher Education.
  • lauded the valuable contribution of the people of Indian origin in South Africa.
  • expressed the desire to broaden people-to-people interactions and to increase two-way tourism by addressing challenges with regard to consular and immigration related issues. In this context, the two sides agreed to conclude an agreement on simplification of visa requirements.
  • expressed their intent to explore avenues to resume direct air connectivity between South Africa and India.
  • welcomed the launching of “India for Humanity” initiative by India in the context of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary to provide artificial limbs by “Jaipur Foot” and welcomed India’s offer to hold a camp in South Africa.
  • underscored the need for continuing consultations and the exchange of views between South Africa and India in order to build partnerships in multilateral forums and to ensure that the agenda of the South is prioritized.
  • committed themselves to promoting reformed multilateralism through cooperation and coordination at multilateral fora and in international organisations.
  • committed to cooperate in all relevant multilateral forums through the groupings of G20, BRICS, IBSA, BASIC, NAM, WTO and the Commonwealth, as well as the strengthening of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
  • reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the voice and representation of emerging and developing economies, including those in Africa, in the decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.
  • Prime Minister Modi congratulated South Africa on becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-20 and assured South Africa of India’s support in the performance of its responsibilities in this role.
  • welcomed the successful holding of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in July 2018, agreed to further enhance cooperation and coordination within BRICS with a view to reform and enhance global political and economic governance.
  • Congratulated Brazil on taking over as Chair of BRICS for 2019 and reiterated their support for Brazilian Chairmanship.
  • welcomed the holding of 15 events by IBSA countries in the context of the 15th anniversary of IBSA partnership.
  • expressed concern at the slow pace of UN reforms and committed themselves to securing their representation in an expanded UN Security Council to achieve a more representative and equitable UN Security Council Membership.
  • underlined the need for jointly working towards reform in the global governance architecture such as WTO, international financial systems etc. in order to advance a development-centered agenda that promotes inclusive growth.
  • reiterated their commitment to working together on strengthening cooperation to address fugitive economic offenders, including through international organisations and institutions such as G20, FATF and others.
  • agreed that terrorism constitutes a serious threat to international peace, security and stability and that no country is immune to the threat that terrorism represents.
  • noted the need for concerted action by the global community against terrorism through early agreement and adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, as well as the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a balanced and integrated manner.
  • condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations regardless of its motivations, whenever, wherever and by whosoever committed.
  • welcomed signing of 2 MoUs between a leading policy research institute of India, namely, Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) based in Delhi with two premier South African think tanks, namely, the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) in Pretoria and South Africa Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg. The 3 research institutions would carry forward work under track 1.5 and, among other things, focus on areas to further promote practical cooperation with Africa identified in Delhi Declaration 2015 at the end of 3rd India Africa Forum Summit.


President Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of India for the warmth and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit, and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to pay an official visit to South Africa on mutually convenient dates.


Issued by The Presidency