Cuba ( Republic of )

History of Relations| Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

Following South Africa’s democratic transition, South Africa and Cuba established formal diplomatic relations on 15 May 1994 and opened resident Embassies in Pretoria (1994) and Havana (1995), respectively.

Cuba has since become an established strategic partner for South Africa in the Latin American region and in multilateral fora. The relations are characterized by high level political dialogue.

In October 2015, then Deputy President Ramaphosa paid an Official Visit to Cuba. The Official visit was reciprocated by Vice President Valdés Mesa in 2016 and again in February 2017. More recently South Africa received the Vice President of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Ms. Inés María Chapman Waugh, from 23-27 March 2019, participating in the SADC Solidarity Conference with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the First Vice President of Cuba, His Excellency Mr. Salvador Valdés Mesa, attending President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration on 25 May 2019.

Bilateral relations were strengthened following the 15th SA-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism held in Pretoria on 5 September 2019, which reviewed and further deepened bilateral relations, as well as by the visit of Mr. Thulas Nxesi, Minister of Employment and Labour in November 2019 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana City and 25 years of mutually beneficial SA-Cuba diplomatic relations. A statue of former President Nelson Mandela was also unveiled in African Founders Park in Havana.

South Africa - Cuba relations serve as a successful and exemplary model of South-South cooperation in the areas of health training and services, human settlements technical exchange, public works technical assistance, cooperation on water resource management and water supply and on professional services in the field of basic education.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Cuba

H E Ms T P Shope-Linney
Ambasssador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

South African Embassy

Time Difference with SA

- 7 hours - 20 October - 20 April
- 6 hours - 20 April - 20 October

Cuba Representation in South Africa

Ambasssador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the Republic of Cuba
Cuban Foreign Ministry

Travel Info

Visa Requirements for South Africans

For more information contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Pretoria.

Visa Requirements for Cuban citizens visiting South Africa

For more information contact any South African Embassy.

Travel Advisory 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.

Please note 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.

Health Requirements

Travellers to Cuba need to familiarise themselves with COVID screening and testing requirements when visiting Cuba.

For further information go to Travelers' Health.

Climate Info

Tropical/Average temperature 25 degrees Celsius.

For up-to-date weather information click here.

Currency Info

The monetary unit is the Cuban Peso

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

No information

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at 012 351 1000.

Trade Info

Major SA exports to Cuba are plastics and rubber, textiles, machinery and vehicles and major Cuban imports are prepared foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Cuba, visit the website of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.

Interest Groups and Information

No Information



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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa