The Union Buildings in Pretoria began preparing early this morning to receive German Chancellor Angela Merkel here on Thursday morning.
Merkel, described as the most powerful woman in the world, is at the invitation of Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa on an official visit to South Africa.
The red carpets were rolled out and guns from the army were ready to welcome Merkel with a cannon salute.
A large number of South African and German journalists were waiting early.
Merkel and Ramaphosa promptly made their appearance at 9am.
A 19-round gun salute is fired in honour of Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany as the welcome ceremony gets underway. This is Chancellor Merkel’s first official visit to South Africa.— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) February 6, 2020
#GermanyInSA #BetterAfricaBetterWorld pic.twitter.com/B2Gxa9pmov
Pres. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, made a state visit to Cape Town in November 2018.
Merkel and Ramaphosa will later conduct bilateral talks on a wide range of issues. Ramaphosa and Merkel are both accompanied by several of their cabinet members.
Read the presidency’s statement here .
They are expected to address a news conference at the Union Building early this afternoon before visiting the BMW plant in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.
President @CyrilRamaphosa is today hosting the Head of Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, on an Official Visit at the Union Buildings in Tshwane. #GermanyInSA #BetterAfricaBetterWorld pic.twitter.com/Vizdd093Mt— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) February 6, 2020
Ramaphosa and Merkel, who have a good relationship and meet regularly at major international summits such as the G7 and G20 summits, will also be the co-chairs this afternoon at a meeting between South African and German businessmen.
South Africa is Germany’s largest trading partner in Africa.
Merkel will be accompanied to the Union Building by Dr. Martin Schäfer, the German ambassador.
Strict safety measures are in place at the Union Buildings and surrounding area.