Outcome of the Public Diplomacy Imbizo held at the University of the Free State on 30 March 2010 and the purpose the programme






Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

(1)  What (a) was the outcome of the public diplomacy imbizo held at the University of the Free State on 30 March 2010 and (b) is the purpose of this programme;

(2)  Whether there is any future roll-out plan for this programme; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


1(a)  I delivered a public lecture, on the subject: “South African Foreign Policy Focus Today and in the Future”, to a University audience. which, i believe, was able to help:

  • Explain the mandate of our Department;
  • Popularize our foreign policy and explain its preoccupations, challenges and successes;
  • Provide us with an opportunity of interacting with an important non-state actor;
  • Contribute to a better understanding of our foreign policy and its relevance to our domestic concerns;
  • Provided the necessary motivation and clarification that without peace in our Continent there shall be no development, and that without development there shall be no peace; and
  • Use the opportunity to invite the University staff and students, as members of the non-state actor community, to be actively involved and participate in discussions and programmes that relate to their country’s foreign policy.

(b)       The purpose is to

  • to confirm that South Africa’s foreign policy is an integral part, or rather, an extension of our country’s domestic policy and interests – and as a consequence, it is an important component of our country’s strategy for political and economic development.
  • to confirm our understanding and appreciation of the fact that the theory and practice of foreign policy is a contested terrain, no more a unique preserve of diplomats representing governments;
  • to ensure that the mandate and preoccupations of our foreign policy are known and appreciated;
  • to ensure that ordinary South Africans should be able to link the country’s domestic priorities and our Department’s international engagements; and
  • to create mutually beneficial engagements between our Department and a host of non-state actors like the University of the Free State

2  Yes; A Cabinet Statement of March 25th, 2010 pronounced on this programme and basically instructed that this new “outreach initiative”, which will be known as the “Public Participation Programme (PPP)”, previously known as “Izimbizo programme” will seek to “reinforce accountability to citizens through continuous public participation events throughout the year”..

DIRCO will visit all the 9 provinces. The details of the dates are still being finalized.



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