Parliament, Friday, 1 June 2018 – The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation has said it was satisfied with the progress made in the Foreign Service Bill.
The committee had started doing clause-by-clause deliberations on the Bill, following an oversight visit to Canada where the committee sought to learn best practices late last year.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Siphosezwe Masango, said the Bill is complex and requires that all stakeholders apply their mind.
“This is not an ordinary piece of legislation as it encompasses all government departments and seeks to manage how and what kind of services are provided at embassies abroad. The input from all stakeholders is high-level, sophisticated and invigorating,” he said.
“The committee is looking to synergise the foreign service, as well as regulate the conduct of those officials deployed to foreign service abroad. But also we are streamlining the work of government, so that roles do not duplicate at embassies,” Mr Masango said.
He clarified that South Africa’s public service officials deployed abroad are subject to the Head of Mission’s authority and that the champion of SA national Interest in any host nation is the Head of Mission.
“The Head of Mission should ideally be a person who oversees everyone at a mission, irrespective of which department is deploying. We want accountability and clear roles as designated in the framework of this piece of legislation.”
Mr Masango said the committee was committed to seeing the Bill deliberated in the National Assembly around August 2018.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION, MR SIPHOSEZWE MASANGO.
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