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Foreign Service Bill Tabled in Parliament

November 6, 2015

Department of International Relations and Cooperation

Proposed legislation intended to provide for the management, administration and functioning of South Africa’s Foreign Service has been tabled in parliament.

The Foreign Service Bill also aims to put operational requirements in place that are suitable and support the Foreign Service.

The Foreign Service will be expected to represent South Africa overseas in an effective, coherent and comprehensive manner.

It is made up of all South African missions and their employees.

The international relations and cooperation department will also be expected to, inter alia, administer all foreign representations in South Africa, coordinate and align South Africa’s international relations between all three spheres of government, render protocol services to foreign and national dignitaries and conduct all diplomatic communications between South Africa and foreign states and international entities.

Requirements for members of the Foreign Service are set down.

Positions at foreign missions can only be taken up once security clearances have been issued.

The bill also refers to heads of missions; recall of member of Foreign Service; diplomatic academy; establishment of coordination and other mechanisms; assets; policies, codes, directives and decisions; delegation of powers; regulations and offences.

The bill will now be processed by the portfolio committee on international relations and cooperation.