The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Picture: REUTERS
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Picture: REUTERS

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s official visit to SA has been postponed indefinitely.

It is understood that Philippe postponed his visit to the country following the resignation of his colleague, interior minister Gerard Collomb. Philippe is expected to take over Collomb’s duties on a temporary basis until President Emmanuel Macron appoints a new interior minister.

Deputy President David Mabuza was due to host Philippe on Thursday and Friday during which several bilateral agreements were expected be concluded, focusing on co-operation in the fields of education and training, science and technology, and the environment. Mabuza and Philippe were also due to participate at the French-South African business forum.

“The presidency and the department of international relations and co-operation wish to inform the media that the official visit to SA by the prime minister of the French Republic, Edouard Philippe, that was scheduled for 4 and 5 October 2018 has been postponed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances,” the presidency said in a brief statement.

SA is France’s leading economic and trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Major South African exports to France include vehicles, aircrafts, machinery and cars, while imports from France include pharmaceuticals, and electrical and electronic equipment.