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History of Relations
some years South Africa's relations with Chile were conducted from Buenos Aires,
Argentina, until an Embassy was formally opened in Santiago in March 1974. Relations
were however never formally normalised until the appointment of a Chilean Ambassador
to South Africa in October 1991. Current relations are maintained at ambassadorial
South Africa and Chile are both developing countries, both are in
a transition stage to full democracy and reconciliation after years of repressive
regimes, both are proponents of the concept of stronger South-South co-operation,
share common experiences and problems and as such, can learn from each other and
exchange expertise in related and relevant fields.
One of the best examples
of how Chile and South Africa have learnt from each other, is the fact that the
South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission was based in part on the Chilean
Rettig Commission, created under former President Patricio Aylwin Azocar, to investigate
abuses under the Pinochet regime.
South Africa and Chile signed a Memorandum
of Understanding concerning Consultations on Issues of Common Interest during
November 1998 and the First Consultative Policy Meeting was convened in Santiago
during August 2000. This serves as a formal body for regular high-level bilateral
discussions on issues of mutual concern and common interest.
visits have taken place since the normalisation of relations.
1997, Deputy President Thabo Mbeki paid an official visit to Chile, during which
he held meetings with President Eduardo Frei, Minister Ricardo Lagos and Acting
Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez.
President Eduardo Frei paid a two-day
State Visit to South Africa on 12 and 13 November 1998. He was accompanied by
the Minister of Public Works and some 40 top business people and captains of industry.
He met with then President Mandela, then Deputy President Mbeki, and top SA business
representatives, NEDLAC and trade union leaders during his visit. Several agreements
were also signed during this visit.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr
NC Dlamini Zuma, together with Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister of Public Enterprise,
attended the inauguration of President Ricardo Lagos on 11 March 2000 on behalf
of President Thabo Mbeki. During this visit Minister Dlamini Zuma and Minister
Radebe also paid a courtesy call to president-elect Lagos and met with the incoming
Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador Heraldo Munoz on 10 March 2000.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Pahad paid an official visit to Chile
on 7 and 8 August 2000 for the convening of the first Chile/South Africa Consultative
Policy Meeting on issues of Mutual interest and concern.
The Minister in
the Presidency, Dr EG Pahad, visited Chile from 5 to 9 December 2000 and attended
the America’s Regional Preparatory Meeting of the World Conference on Racism on
behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister of Social Development,
Dr ZST Skweyiya MP, visited Chile from 24 to 30 January 2001 to meet with the
Chilean Minister of Planning, Ms Elejandra Kraus, to exchange ideas and expertise
on social development projects and unemployment programmes. A number of delegates
from other Departments such as Health, Agriculture and Land Affairs were also
included in the delegation.
The South African Institute of International
Affairs (SAIIA) and the Eembassy of Chile organised a conference at the Chilean
diplomatic Academy in Santiago in November 2001 with the theme: Chile and South
Africa - Lessons and opportunities arising from Political and Economic Transitions.
The visit of Minister Mthembi-Mayanyele, Minister of Housing to Chile during
March 2002, followed by a study group from the Department of Housing in April
2002, further served to diversify bilateral relations between the two countries.
South African Representation in Chile
H E Mr H Fisher
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
TIME DIFFERENCE WITH SA:
2nd Saturday in October until 2nd Saturday in March: -5
From 2nd Saturday in March until 2nd Saturday
in October: -6 hours
Chile Representation in South Africa
H E Mr J G Zepeda Zepeda
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of Chile
Visa Requirements for South Africans
For more information
contact the Embassy of Chile.
Warning on illegal activities abroad
South African citizens travelling
abroad are strongly advised to take care not to become involved in activities
which may be, or are, illegal in foreign countries. Please remember, once you
leave South Africa, you are not protected by South African laws and constitutional
rights. If you are arrested abroad, the South African Government cannot get you
out of prison or demand your release. At most, your government can intercede with
local authorities to try and ensure that your rights under the laws of the country
in which you were arrested are fully observed. It can also attempt to ensure that
you are treated humanely, i.e., according to those international agreements to
which the country in which you have been arrested, has acceded.
that the South African Government views crimes - particularly those involving
illegal drugs, mercenary activities, the traffic in humans or small arms or the
abuse of women and children - in a most serious light.
Tetanus - immunisation
recommended if more than three years have passed since last inocculation.
further information go to Travelers' Health.
the North. Very cold in the South. The Central areas have a Mediterranean climate.
Rain (May to August). Warmer months are November to February.
weather information click here
unit in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
For current exchange rates click here.
and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings
If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact
the Treaty Section at 012 351 0872/0872/0837
Chile/South African bilateral trade is concentrated in the primary
and semi-processed metal, chemical and agricultural sectors. South Africa is,
by far, Chile's largest African trading partner. South Africa's exports to Chile
are more diversified than those from Chile. In 1999 South Africa exported products
in 582 product classes, while Chile exported products in only 69 classes.
current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Afghanistan,
visit the web site of the Department
of Trade and Industry of South Africa
Groups and Information