Department of Foreign Affairs renamed, restructured

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Foreign Affairs has been renamed and restructured to become the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Announcing his Cabinet on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation would be much the same as the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is to be the department's new Minister, and there will be two Deputy Ministers, namely Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim and Sue van der Merwe. Ms van der Merwe had held the post of Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs previously.

Mr Zuma said Ms Nkoana-Mashabane, who was a leader in the African National Congress, had been involved in the international affairs arena for some time.

She previously held the post of MEC for Local Government and Housing in Limpopo and was South Africa's former Ambassador to India.

Government has always placed the strengthening of ties and bilateral relations high on its list of priorities.

The previous department of foreign affairs played a formidable role in placing the concerns of the African continent on the international agenda. Its vision was to create an African continent, which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic and which contributes to on an international level.

Ms Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, as the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, traveled extensively around the world strengthening South Africa's ties with other nations.

She will now head up the Department of Home Affairs.