The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is expected to announce the closures of foreign diplomatic missions soon. It is also likely to explain which ambassadors and other diplomats in nearby countries or cities will assume responsibility for diplomatic services in the countries or cities where it is closing missions.
The eight embassies to close are in Minsk in Belarus; Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago; the Holy See in the Vatican; Helsinki in Finland; Muscat in Oman; Suva in Fiji; Bucharest in Romania and Lima in Peru, sources said.
Dirco also plans to close its consulates-general in Milan, Italy and in Chicago, US. South Africa still has consulates-general in New York and Los Angeles as well as the embassy in Washington. And it will retain its embassy in Rome.
DA foreign affairs spokesperson Darren Bergman said the DA supported the trimming down of South Africa’s international Dirco footprint.
“But that means with those savings we should be able to offer better consular services in those countries via our main or neighbouring embassies. Anything less than this is a cop-out and goes against the constitutional right of South African citizens to consular services abroad.” DM
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