Joe Biden and Cyril Ramaphosa at the G7 summit in Cornwall, June 2021 – Photo: DIRCO

Need more dollars, Cyril? Ramaphosa set for White House visit

Things aren’t so rosy for Cyril Ramaphosa at home – so a trip to the White House to meet with Joe Biden has come at the right time.


Joe Biden and Cyril Ramaphosa at the G7 summit in Cornwall, June 2021 – Photo: DIRCO

President Cyril Ramaphosa will undertake his first trip to the White House this week, as he prepares for in-person talks with his American counterpart, Joe Biden. The pair are expected to take part in high-level discussions during this diplomatic arrangement.

Ramaphosa biden white house
President Ramaphosa engages President Biden on a virtual call in May 2022 – Photo: Flickr / GCIS

When will Cyril Ramaphosa meet Joe Biden?

The visit, arguably, comes at an opportune time for Cyril Ramaphosa. He’s currently the subject of a scandal that refuses to go away quietly. Earlier this year, it was revealed that burglars ransacked one of his farms – and found $4 million in cash hidden on the property.

Both the Public Protector and the SA Reserve Bank have asked the president for an explanation, but Ramaphosa hasn’t exactly been forthcoming. The so-called ‘cash stash’ – made up entirely of US dollars – has piled the pressure on South Africa’s head of state.

Nonetheless, Cyril will carry on with business as usual over the next few days. The ANC leader will travel to Washington DC on Friday 16 September, where he will be received by Joe Biden at the White House. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has set up the meeting.

Stage set for White House talks

DIRCO Minister Naledi Pandor has stressed the importance of South Africa’s trading operations with the US:

Over the years, two-way trade between South Africa and the United States has been on the increase. The United States is South Africa’s third largest trading partner (after China and the European Union), with more than 600 United States companies operating within our borders.

“South Africa and the United States enjoy historic and cordial relations. The US is a major export market for South Africa, a significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, development assistance and tourism.” | Naledi Pandor

What will Cyril Ramaphosa and Joe Biden discuss at the White House?

It’s understood both presidents will discuss the following matters of bilateral, regional and global significance:

  • Trade and investment will be at the very top of the agenda.
  • Initiatives to tackle climate change and energy concerns are also on the table.
  • The serious issue of food security in Africa will be a key talking point.
  • Inevitably, the topic of peace and security is set to come up – with the US and SA not seeing eye-to-eye on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • DIRCO also states the pair will reaffirm the importance of the strategic relations between South Africa and the United States.