Pretoria, South Africa – King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will pay a state visit to South Africa from October 18 to 20, 2023, at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The visit will focus on the excellent ties and equal partnership between the two countries, as well as sustainable and inclusive growth, cultural cooperation, human rights and legal equality, and exchanges of knowledge and science.
On the first day of the visit, the King and Queen will visit the Blesbokspruit Wetland Reserve to learn about the challenges South Africa faces with regard to water quality and availability. They will also visit the Apartheid Museum to learn about South Africa’s history of apartheid and the fight against injustice.
In the afternoon, the King and Queen will meet with members of the economic and knowledge missions, which are focusing on strengthening partnerships between South Africa and the Netherlands in the areas of green hydrogen, circular waste management, and future-oriented agriculture and horticulture. They will also meet with members of the knowledge mission, which is focused on the link between education and the labour market, equal opportunities, and the importance of vocational education for the green sectors.
On the second day of the visit, the King and Queen will be officially welcomed by President Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings. They will then have a private meeting, followed by a meeting with the South African president and ministers.
After the delegation meeting, the King and Queen will attend the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between South Africa’s Minister for Higher Education and Training, Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, and the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf, on stepping up cooperation in further education.
In the afternoon, the King and Queen will visit Freedom Park, a memorial to all the South Africans who dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom and dignity. They will also visit an exhibition of work by two witnesses to the fight against apartheid, two photographers who are passing on their experience to a new, younger generation.
In the evening, the King will host a cultural performance at the State Theatre in Pretoria, featuring Lloyds Company and Dutch musicians performing their show ‘Unbreakable’ along with the South African dancers of the Soweto Skeleton Movers.
On the third and final day of the visit, the King and Queen will meet with the prime minister of Western Cape province and the mayor of Cape Town. They will then visit the Iziko Slave Lodge to reflect on the two countries’ shared past.
In the afternoon, King Willem-Alexander will visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to learn about the importance of biodiversity in habitat and wildlife protection. Queen Máxima will spend the afternoon at the HortiDemoCentre, a Dutch-South African initiative that develops methods for producing healthier food using fewer resources.
The state visit will conclude with a reception for the Dutch community in Cape Town.