Parliament hosts public seminar on Foreign Services Bill in Pretoria

International Relations and Cooperation Committee to host seminar on bill, amid concerns about misrepresenting Foreign Policy

The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation will on Tuesday, 24 January 2017, hold a public seminar on the Foreign Services Bill in Pretoria.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Siphosezwe Masango, said the seminar is critical given the confusion that may be created by politicians misrepresenting South Africa’s foreign policy positions while travelling abroad.

The trips abroad may undermine South Africa’s foreign policy and the work of the President. Foreign relations are the preserve of government, said Mr Masango.

This situation is concerning and makes the pending Foreign Services Bill even more important so that people do not misrepresent the country unknowingly. This can hurt South Africa’s economy and trade relations, he said.

The Committee will on Tuesday hold a public seminar on the Foreign Services Bill, which aims to harmonise and bring synergy to the foreign services. Academics, labour, former diplomats and many others are expected to make an input.

Mr Masango encouraged the public and civic organisations to make use of this opportunity and have an input into the Bill.

International trips and fact-finding missions should benefit the country as a whole. These trips should seek to supplement and enhance the work of government and contribute to the advancement of Brand SA, he said.

Source: Government of South Africa

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