France (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

Formal diplomatic relations between South Africa and France were normalised after the first democratic elections in 1994. President Mandela's State Visit to France in July 1996 and President Jacques Chirac's visit to South Africa in June 1998 brought the two countries closer together. Several high level visits have taken place to further solidify relations over the years, of which the most recent were the Official Visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to France on 18 May 2021 and a State Visit by President Emmanuel Macron to South Africa on 28-29 May 2021.

South Africa and France are strategic partners with bilateral cooperation encompassing many areas of mutual interest at national, regional and multilateral levels. Relations between the two countries are coordinated through a Forum for Political Dialogue (FPD), a structured mechanism that was instituted in 1997.

France is one of South Africa’s important trade and investment partners. There are more than 300 French companies in South Africa creating thousands of jobs. Between 2003 and 2018, a total of 81 foreign direct investments were recorded from France, with a capital investment worth R8.6 billion. While there is a major trade imbalance in favour of France in the trade relations between the two countries, the export of South Africa’s agricultural products such as citrus fruits, avocado and grapes to France continue to grow. Similarly, France is one of the largest markets for tourism for South Africa. Tourism flows from France to South Africa prior to COVID-19 amounted to more than 160 000 per annum.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in France

H E Mr T J Seokolo
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Republic of South Africa Embassy in Paris
59 Quai d'Orsay
75343 - Paris Cédex 7
Tel: 01 53 59 24 10
E-mail: info.paris@dirco.gov.za

Honorary Consulate of South Africa: Rennes, France

Mr Jean-Pierre Tromeur
Honorary Consul

Centre d’Affaires d’Ile-de-France
4, avenue Charles Tillon - 35000 Rennes
Tel: 02 23 46 14 18
Fax: 02 23 46 14 15
E-mail: cofogep@wanadoo.fr

Honorary Consulate of South Africa: Marcq-en-Baroeul, France

Mr Léon-Gabriel Tharin
Honorary Consul

8, avenue Foch
59700 Marcq-en-Baroeul
Tel: 03 20 57 54 73
Fax: 03 20 57 89 40

South African Embassy

French Representation in South Africa

H E Mr A J-D Lechevallier
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

250 Melk Street - Nieuw Muckleneuk - 0181 Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0)12 425 1600

French General Consulate: Johannesburg

Ms Sonia Doña Pérez
Consul General

Standard Bank Building, 3rd floor
191, Jan Smuts Avenue
Tel: +27 (0)11 778 5600

French General Consulate: Cape Town

Mr Laurent Alberti
Consul General

78 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens 8001 Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 423 1575

Embassy of France

Travel Info

Visa requirements for South Africa

For more information contact the French Consulate-General in Johannesburg.

Travel Advisory: 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.

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

With regard to COVID-19 regulations, a negative PCR Test or Vaccine Certificate is required for entry into France. Vaccinated non-European nationals are required to apply for a COVID certificate if they were vaccinated abroad. The online application for the Certificate can be found at: https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers?locale=en. If not vaccinated, they must produce a negative RT-PCR/Antigen test results valid for 72 hours upon arrival. Furthermore, a 10-day isolation period and an additional RT-PCR/Antigen test at the end of the isolation period are required for unvaccinated travellers.

For further information go to Travellers' Health and French Consulate-General.

Climate Info

France is the only European country with three distinct climates, namely: continental, maritime and Mediterranean. The climate cannot be generalised due to the diversity of the landscape as well as "micro-climates". The Loire Valley (200 km south of Paris) is considered the divide between the cooler north and the warmer south. If you would like to be assured of sunshine, travel south!

Paris temperatures range from -5º C in winter to 30º C in summer. Rain is frequent.

For up-to-date weather information click here.

TIME DIFFERENCE WITH SA:

-1 hour (Winter: October - February)
-0 hours (Summer: March - September)

Currency Info

The monetary unit is the EURO. The currency is freely convertible.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

Most Recent Visits:

  • 18 May 2021: Official Visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to France to participate in the Summit on Financing Africa’s Development
  • 28-29 May 2021: State Visit by President Emmanuel Macron to South Africa

Upcoming Visits:

  • 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

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and France, 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