JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 9 -- German Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrived in South Africa Saturday for a five-day state visit aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries. 'The visit is a political signal to intensify relations at all levels,' German Ambassador to South Africa Uwe Kaestner told a media briefing late last month.
Kohl, the first German head of government to visit South Africa, was met at the Cape Town International airport by South African Justice Minister Dullah Omar. Kohl will spend Sunday sightseeing before officially starting his visit Monday. The German leader was accompanied by his Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger and a group of leading German bankers and industrialists. During the visit, the German delegation is scheduled to sign three agreements with the South African government covering investment protection, German technical assistance and German development aid. Kohl is also scheduled to hold talks with South African President Nelson Mandela, South Africa's deputy presidents and other senior political leaders. The German chancellor also plans to address the South African parliament on Monday. Germany is one of South Africa's largest trade partners and has business investments in the African nation of $5.2 billion. An estimated 60,000 South Africans are employed by more than 300 German firms operating in South Africa.