The National Assembly has passed the Foreign Services Bill without any objections. The Bill, which seeks to professionalise the foreign services of South Africa, will now be sent to the President to sign into law.

International Relations and Co-operation Committee Chairperson, Thandi Mahambehlala says the Bill will bring an end to the fragmentation of the management, administration and functioning of foreign services. She was opening the debate on the Bill in the National Assembly.

“Currently, the management of officials from different sectors of government is highly fragmented with officials serving in the missions abroad, from different departments reporting directly to and being managed by their respective departments in South Africa. This is regarded as non-consistent and in many cases not optimal. It was decided that legislation should be developed that should address these concerns. The Bill will seek to provide the management, administration and functioning of the foreign services of the Republic of South Africa, provide for the operational requirements that are suitable and supportive of the operations of the foreign service in a global environment,” says Mahambehlala.