Minister of the department of international relations and cooperation (DIRCO) Naledi Pandor, indicated on Thursday, May 20, that South Africa is set to close ten of its diplomatic missions abroad. This includes embassies, high commissions, and consulates.
According to Minister Pandor, this action was necessary due to her department’s financial constraints, EWN reports. Pandor announced the news while briefing the media on her budget. She indicated that South Africa still has excellent diplomatic relations with these countries and regions.
This decision is deeply regretted and South Africa expresses its confidence that the excellent diplomatic relations with these countries and regions will continue through the non-resident missions, and the diplomatic missions represented in South Africa.
— DIRCO South Africa (@DIRCO_ZA) May 20, 2021
The missions earmarked for closure are:
- Minsk, Belarus
- Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
- The Holy See, The Vatican
- Helsinki, Finland
- Milan, Italy (consulate)
- Muscat, Oman
- Suva, Fiji
- Bucharest, Romania
- Lima, Peru; and
- Chicago, USA (consulate)
While this will save her department millions, Pandor added that it would not solve her financial woes after her budget for the current financial year has been cut from over R7 billion to just under R6.5 billion.
According to Sowetan Live, the transfer of civic and immigration services can be made on DIRCO’s websites, the Department of Home Affairs, and at the affected missions.