Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, a position she has held since May 2009.
About the Department
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is responsible for South Africa’s relationships with foreign countries and international organisations, and runs South Africa’s diplomatic missions.
About the Minister
Prior to her current position, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane served four years as member of the executive council for local government and housing in Limpopo.
Between 1999 and 2005 she represented South Africa as high commissioner to Malaysia, and as high commissioner to India between 1995 and 1999.
During the 1980s, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane was an active member of the United Democratic Front and the underground structures of the ANC, later participating in the re-launch of its Women’s League. She has served as chairperson of the Women’s League Limpopo provincial executive, as a member of its national working committee and, subsequently, as a member of Parliament in the National Assembly between 1994 and 1995.
As South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane is responsible for the formulation, promotion and execution of South Africa’s foreign policy, taking overall accountability for all aspects of South Africa’s international relations in consultation with the President.
South Africa has one of the biggest contingents of diplomats, with 125 diplomatic missions in 107 countries located in all corners of the world.