Ja Rule will be the first high-profile international artist to tour South Africa in 2003 when he performs three shows in the country next month.

Ja Rule will be the first high-profile international artist to tour South Africa in 2003 when he performs three shows in the country next month, Billboard Bulletin reports.

The tour visits Johannesburg on July 4, Durban on July 6, and Cape Town on July 9. Chief sponsors are the three commercial radio stations of the South African Broadcasting Corp. (SABC) -- 5fm, Metro FM, and Good Hope FM -- and clothing chain Edgars.

"It's not often that South African audiences get the opportunity to experience an artist as phenomenal as Ja Rule live onstage," says Randall Abrahams, general manager of commercial radio at the SABC.

The Def Jam artist has not announced dates in any other countries.