Formulate, coordinate, implement and manage South Africa’s foreign policy and
international relations programmes.
According to the Constitution, the president is ultimately responsible for the
foreign policy and international relations of South Africa. It is the
president’s prerogative to appoint heads of mission, to receive foreign heads
of mission, to conduct state to state relations, and to negotiate and sign all
international agreements. International agreements that are not of a
technical, administrative or executive nature will only bind the country after
being approved by Parliament, which also approves the country’s ratification
of or accession to multilateral agreements. All international agreements must
be tabled in Parliament for information purposes.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation is entrusted with the
formulation, promotion, execution and daily conduct of South Africa’s foreign
The department’s overall mandate is to work for the realisation of South
Africa’s foreign policy objectives. This is done by:
coordinating and aligning South Africa’s international relations
monitoring developments in the international environment
communicating government’s policy positions
developing and advising government on policy options, and creating mechanisms and avenues for achieving objectives
protecting South Africa’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
contributing to the creation of an enabling international environment for South African businesses
sourcing developmental assistance
assisting South African citizens abroad.
The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) sets out the detailed spending plans of each government department for the coming year.
National Treasury, departments and commitees are busy with different things depending on the time of year: