Ramaphosa was there on behalf of President Jacob Zuma.
He was accompanied by Zuma’s wife, Bongekile, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and several advisers.
“[They] will join other heads of state and government in paying their respects during the viewing ceremony of the body of the late President Sata as it lies in state in Lusaka,” the presidency said in a statement.
Sata would be buried on Tuesday.
The 77-year-old leader died on October 28 in a London hospital while undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Zuma said Sata was part of a generation of leaders who gallantly pursued the anti-colonial struggle.
“His death reminds the people of South Africa of the immeasurable sacrifice and the sterling leadership role that Zambia played in ridding the African continent of the yoke of colonial domination and apartheid rule,” Zuma said.
Sata’s contribution to the African Union and the Southern African Development Community would be sorely missed, he added.
Ramaphosa was expected back in the country on Tuesday.