- Their Majesties, the king and queen of the Belgians, will officially kick off their state visit to South Africa on Thursday.
- This is the first state visit to SA for King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and will serve to expand and strengthen relations between the countries.
- The Belgians will begin their visit at the University of Pretoria before undertaking several other royal engagements in Johannesburg; they will then make their way to Cape Town on Saturday.
The Belgian royals will officially begin their state visit to South Africa Thursday at the University of Pretoria.
Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde travelled to South Africa Wednesday and are undertaking a state visit from 22 to 27 March 2023 at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The state visit will serve to expand and strengthen bilateral relations between South Africa and Belgium and revitalise economic relations with a focus on trade, foreign direct investment, and tourism, according to a statement from the Presidency.
Amid SA's energy crisis, the two countries are also pursuing cooperation in renewable energy and, in particular, green hydrogen.
On their first-ever state visit, Queen Mathilde will speak to alumni and staff at the University of Pretoria while the king stops at the Battery Test Bed, CSIR, in Pretoria.
On Friday, the king will visit the Industrial Development Zone at Kempton Park as the queen reads to children at the Emuseni Day Care Centre in Orlando East. The royals will also visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial, the Skateistan's Skate School, and the Beka Schréder factory, before heading to Cape Town.
Saturday will see the royals in Montague Gardens, before a visit to the University of the Western Cape, while Sunday's royal engagements include activities in Philippi Village before seeing what the V&A Waterfront has to offer.
The royals will have lunch and review the menu composed by South African chef Reuben Riffel and Belgian celebrity chef Piet Huysentruyt at the Waterfront, before heading to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens.
They'll end their visit Sunday evening at the Belgian residence in Newlands.