President Cyril Ramphosa congratulates Rishi Sunak on taking office of UK’s Prime Minister

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the United Kingdom’s (UK) new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after he officially became the head of government in the United Kingdom.

Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya says President Ramaphosa is looking forward to working with Sunak.

“South Africa and the United Kingdom enjoy historically strong and friendly relations and the President expressed confidence that these strategic relationships will continue to grow from strength to strength. President Ramaphosa looks forward to working with Prime Minister Sunak to further strengthen the bonds of corporation and friendship between the two countries,” he adds.

Sunak met Britain’s King Charles III at Buckingham palace where the king asked him to form a new government.

In his speech, Sunak said, “It is only right to explain why I am standing here as your new Prime Minister. Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis. The aftermath of COVID still lingers. Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilised energy markets and supply chains the world over. I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Liz Truss, she was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country, it is a noble aim. And I admired her restlessness to create change. But some mistakes were made. Not borne of ill will or bad intentions. Quite the opposite, in fact. But mistakes nonetheless. And I have been elected as leader of my party, and your Prime Minister, in part, to fix them.”

He also extended his gratitude to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his incredible achievements. He outlined his Party 2019 mandate which is to build a stronger National Health Service, better schools, safer streets, control our borders and support the armed forces.

He adds, “And I understand too that I have work to do to restore trust after all that has happened. All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands. But when the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness.”