UK Prime Minister Theresa May and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa after their bilateral in Cape Town on Tuesday. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday agreed to strengthen economic partnerships as the UK prepares to leave the European Union next year.

May kicked off her three-country tour of Africa in Cape Town on Tuesday, where she held a bilateral meeting with Ramaphosa.

"The UK is one of South Africa's largest trading partners with trade of over 9 billion pounds last year and we've agreed that as the UK prepares to leave the EU we must then think about how to grow that trade for the future," said May, as she and Ramaphosa addressed the media following the bilateral.

May reiterated her ambition that the UK becomes Africa's biggest G7 investor by 2022, starting with negotiations to conclude an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the Southern African Customs Union, its member states and Mozambique once the EU-SADC EPA no longer applies to the UK.

- African News Agency (ANA)