Israel (State 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

Israel established a Legation in South Africa in 1952 and in 1974 it was upgraded to an Embassy. In 1972 South Africa established a Consulate General in Tel Aviv which was upgraded to an Embassy in December 1975. Israel continued to enjoy close relations with the Apartheid Government in South Africa. Following the democratic transition in South Africa and the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Palestine, after South Africa adopted an approach, which favors resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict through peaceful negotiations, on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

In September 1995 Foreign Minister Alfred B Nzo, paid an official visit to Israel and signed an Agreement establishing a Joint Commission of Co-operation with the Israeli Government. The first meeting of this Joint Commission took place in June 1996. On this occasion, five bilateral agreements were negotiated for co-operation in the following spheres: Agriculture, Tourism, Culture, Environment and Science, as well as Nature Conservation.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Israel

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

South African Embassy

Israeli Representation in South Africa

H E Mr E Belotsercovsky
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of Israel

Travel Info

Visa Requirements for South Africans

Visas are not required for South African passport holders not intending to stay for more than three months. Persons holding temporary or emergency passports are excluded and it is imperative for persons with such travel documents to obtain visas prior to departure.

Health Requirements

Tetanus immunisation is recommended for travel to rural areas.

For further information go to Travelers' Health.

Climate Info

Winters are cool and rainy, this is from mid-November to mid- February. Summers on the other hand can be very hot during June to August, especially in the south.

For up-to-date weather information click here

Currency Info

The monetary unit is the New Israeli Shekel.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

Visits and interactions between South Africa and Israel include a courtesy call by Mr Marius Fransman, South African then Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Mr Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs on 20 November 2011, a visit to South Africa by Ambassador Avraham Granot, Deputy Director-General Africa at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2011, as well as in December 2012, a meeting between Mr Paul Mashatile, then South African Minister of Arts and Culture and Ms Limor Livnat, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport on 27 February 2012, in South Africa, and a meeting between Mr Derek Hanekom, then Deputy Minister of Science and Technology with Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Israeli Minister of Science and Technology on September 2012.

There is currently limited political and diplomatic interaction between South Africa and Israel, mainly due to Israel’s antagonistic attitude towards the MEPP and disregard for International Law regarding the rights of the Palestinians and their territories. South Africa’s baseline is that Israel must return to negotiations and create favorable conditions for peaceful negotiations.

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 Israel, 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