Durban – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to meet US billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates on Wednesday on the third day of the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban.
Gates is one of the global funders of HIV treatment and prevention, including funding for the South African HIV programme.
Deputy President Ramaphosa is leading the South African government delegation to the conference in his capacity as the chairperson of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).
He is supported by the Inter-Ministerial Committee under the leadership of Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
On Sunday, Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and spoke to young women about HIV prevention. On Monday night, he delivered an address at the official opening session of the conference.
Government said on Wednesday the Deputy President will also pay a visit to the South African Government Exhibition Centre. The centre was officially opened on Tuesday, 20 July and houses a number of organisations involved in efforts aimed at combatting the HIV epidemic in the country.
Government said the South African delegation is using the conference to communicate to the international community progress made by the country in pushing back the frontiers of the HIV and TB epidemic.
“In the same breath, the government delegation also conveyed its gratitude to the international community for the solidarity and financial support in its efforts to combat the HIV and TB epidemic,” a government statement said.