India (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

South Africa and India enjoy a Strategic Partnership and bilateral relations are anchored by a deep and shared history of friendship and solidarity. India, which gained independence in 1947, was an active supporter of the international liberation struggle and also a staunch supporter of the fight for freedom and democracy in South Africa and was at the forefront of efforts to isolate the Apartheid Government. India played a key role within the Non-Aligned Movement and within the United Nations in promoting the struggle for liberation and in enhancing South-South Cooperation.

The bond between South Africa and India is also cemented through the South African population which is from Indian descent. The first Indians arrived in South Africa over one hundred and fifty years ago as indentured labourers, and have deep roots in South African society. South Africans from Indian descent have contributed immensely to the development and enrichment of South African society.

Full diplomatic relations with India were established on 22 November 1993. The South African Mission in New Delhi started functioning on 1 November 1993. The first visit by a South African Head of State to India took place in 1997 when President Mandela laid the foundation for the strategic partnership between the two countries with the signing of the Red Fort Declaration. President Ramaphosa visited India on a State Visit in 2019 and Prime Minister Modi visited South Africa in 2016 and again in 2018 when he attended the BRICS Summit.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in India

H E Mr J S Ndebele
High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

*Also accredited to Bangladesh and Nepal.

South African High Commission

(SAST + 3,5 hours)

Indian Representation in South Africa

H E Mr J Sarkar
High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Indian High Commission

Travel Info

Visa Requirements for South Africans

FFor more information contact the Indian High Commission in Pretoria or one of the Consulates-General in Johannesburg, or Durban or Cape Town.

Health Requirements

Immunisation against hepatitis A and B are strongly recommended before departure from South Africa. Immunisation against diphtheria, meningitis, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis is also recommended.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required from travellers coming from South Africa unless traversing through a yellow fever area. Travellers are encouraged to consult a travel medicine practitioner.

For further information go to Travelers' Health.

Climate Info

New Delhi is at an altitude of 216 meter above sea level in north central India. The weather in the capital is most pleasant during the temperate months October to November and February to March, these periods are characterized by cool nights and warm days. In the winter months (December and January) the temperature can become surprisingly cold. From April through to mid-July, daytime temperatures often top 45-49 degrees C. The nights cool off somewhat, but are still hot. From mid-July to September, the occasional monsoon rains create high humidity and high temperatures, for this reason it is advisable to visit India from mid-September to early April.

For up-to-date weather information click here.

Currency Info

The Indian unit of currency is the rupee (abbreviated Rs) which is divided into 100 paise. There are coins of 50 paise and of 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees. Banknotes exist in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 rupees.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings


  • March 1997: President Mandela to India on a State Visit to India
  • October 2003: President Mbeki paid a State Visit to India
  • January 2019: President Ramaphosa paid a State Visit to India


  • March 1997: Indian Prime Minister Gujral on Working Visit
  • 14 September 2004: State Visit by Indian President Abdul Kalam
  • July 2016: Official Visit to South Africa by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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

The most important products exported to India are mineral products, wood, pulp and paper, iron and steel products, chemicals, machinery, precious metal, vegetables, wood products, photographic and medical equipment and vehicles, aircraft and vessels. 

South Africa's imports from India are dominated by mineral products, vehicles, aircraft and vessels, chemicals, machinery, iron and steel products, vegetables, textiles, plastic and rubber, equipment components and precious metal.

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