Information by the Government of Germany to South African Government regarding the non-acceptance of South African Temporary Passports as valid Travel Documents and information on Diplomatic Bags that are lost or tampered with annually

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO:       912

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 16 OF 6 JUNE 2008

MR LK JOUBERT (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1)        When did the German government inform the Government that it no longer accepted South African temporary passports as valid travel documents;

(2)        whether all South African missions abroad were informed of the German decision; if not, why not; if so, (a) when and (b) in what way;

(3)        how many diplomatic bags (a) get lost and (b) are tampered with annually? NW1602E

REPLY:

(1)        The Department of Foreign Affairs was advised of the non-recognition of South African Temporary Passports by the Embassy of Germany in Pretoria on 16 February 2007 under cover of Diplomatic Note – 83/07. The note was received by the Department on 16 February 2007. 

(2)        The Department of Foreign Affairs advised our missions in Berlin and Munich of this decision by means of the Departmental communication facility.  The Department of Home Affairs as line-function Department was advised of the German decision and requested to inform all stakeholders.  We are aware that the Department of Home Affairs forwarded a communication dated 6 March 2007 to their Head Office, Domestic Offices and Foreign Offices informing them that Germany no longer accepted South African Temporary Passports with effect from 1 March 2007.

(3)        In the 2007/2008 financial year, 2 diplomatic freight bags were reported stolen and 18 diplomatic freight bags were tampered with.  Diplomatic freight bags contain unclassified documents and articles.  Ongoing consultations with local authorities and airlines have been conducted to prevent such incidents from recurring.

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