The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Supra Mahumapelo, expressed his gratitude to the South African embassy in Germany for their warm welcome and the conducive environment they provided during the committee’s recent oversight visit. The visit, which concluded yesterday, allowed the committee to interact with both transferred and locally recruited personnel, assess the impact of the mission’s bilateral relationship with Germany, and examine how it contributes to addressing past injustices in South Africa.
As one of South Africa’s largest trading partners, Germany holds significant importance for the South African economy. Mr Mahumapelo stressed the need for increased investments from Germany into South Africa and highlighted the mission’s responsibility to align its work with the goals outlined in the National Development Plan. Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the mission’s efforts were evaluated during the oversight visit to ensure they effectively contribute to the country’s development.
A crucial aspect of the committee’s visit involved inspecting state-owned properties in Berlin to assess the mission’s compliance with the provisions of the Foreign Service Act 2019. The condition of these properties was central to the purpose of the oversight programme, as stated by Mr Mahumapelo. By ensuring compliance, the committee aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission’s operations.
In addition to property inspections, the committee focused on the implementation of the digital strategy, particularly in terms of ICT functionality and modernization. Mr Mahumapelo emphasized the importance of addressing personnel morale to ensure the successful implementation of South Africa’s Foreign Policy. By prioritizing the human element, the committee aims to enhance the overall effectiveness and impact of the mission’s activities.
Following their visit to Germany, the committee will proceed to Bonn for the second leg of their oversight circle. In two days’ time, they will continue their examination of South Africa’s international relations and cooperation efforts by conducting further assessments in Portugal.
The oversight visit serves as a valuable opportunity for the committee to engage with key stakeholders, evaluate the impact of the mission’s activities, and ensure alignment with South Africa’s developmental goals. By fostering strong bilateral relationships, addressing property compliance, and enhancing digital strategies, the committee aims to strengthen South Africa’s position on the global stage and promote its long-term economic growth.