Netherlands (The Kingdom of the)
History of Relations
| Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info
| Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency
Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings
| Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations
Relations between South Africa and the Netherlands reach
back to the creation of a trading post by the Dutch East India Company in Cape
Town in 1652. Since then the relations between the two countries have gone through
many high and low points.
During this century, successive Governments in
the Netherlands have over the years encouraged the transition to democracy and
equal rights in South Africa. The anti-apartheid movement in the Netherlands was
one of the strongest and most effective in the world, which effectively placed
a constraint on bilateral contact with the Apartheid governments in many spheres.
Three major anti-apartheid organisations existed. Upon democratisation in SA,
the two largest anti-apartheid movements (Anti-Apartheid Beweging Nederland [AABN],
and Kommittee Zuidelijk Afrika [KZA]) merged and converted themselves into the
Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika (NIZA). Niza conducts projects aimed
at development and the upliftment of our people.
Relations between the Netherlands
and South Africa have particularly strengthened since 1990, with further impetus
given to bilateral relations by the South African referendum in 1992 and the inauguration
of the Government of National Unity. Since the breakaway from the Government of
National Unity by the National Party, the Government of the Netherlands has on
several occasions reiterated its support for the present Government.
elections in the Netherlands took place in March 1998 and in May 1998 a new coalition
government (PvDA [Social Democrats], VVD [Liberals], D66 [Liberal-Democrats])
was sworn in by Queen Beatrix.
The new Government is basically a continuation
of the former coalition government, and is again under the leadership of Prime
Minister Mr Wim Kok. It is popularly known as Paars 2, (referring to the political
spectrum contained in the coalition government).
South African Representation in the Netherlands
H E Mr V P Madonsela
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
The Netherlands Representation in South Africa
H E Mr J P M Peters
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Visa Requirements for South Africans
For more information
contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria.
specific immunisation is required. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is however
required from travellers coming from an infected area.
For further information
go to Travelers' Health.
lies in the temperature zone of the Northern Hemisphere and has a maritime climate
owing to the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and to prevailing sea winds. Daily
and annual temperature ranges are moderate. The mean January temperature is a
little over 1 degree C rising to 20 degrees C in July. Although spring is usually
drier than autumn, rainfall is fairly even throughout the year. Annual rainfall
is about 76.5 mm. There is little variation in climate from region to region since
the country is small, but the difference in latitude between north and south (over
300 km) does have some effect on temperature, while the maritime influence is
less inland. Together these factors can give rise to marked regional differences
in temperature. The average number of summer days (with a maximum temperature
of 25 degrees C or over) ranges from 5 in the Friesian Islands off the north coast
to more than 35 in the southern province of Limburg. Contrary to what might be
expected, there is no gradual decrease in rainfall away from the coast, since
summer storms are more frequent inland.
For up-to-date weather information
unit is the Dutch Guilder (Dfl), but the Netherlands also forms part of the single
European Monetary Unit (EUR).
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 of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at 012 351 1000.
South Africa's main exports to the Netherlands are coal, chemicals
and agricultural products.
For current information on trade statistics between
South Africa and the Netherlands, visit the website of the Department
of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.
Groups and Information
Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education
Nuffic was formed by the various institutions of higher education
in the Netherlands to promote international cooperation in the field of higher
education. Nuffic also administers the scholarship and bursary schemes for the
individual universities and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
For more information go to the web site
or e-mail: email@example.com
SENTER is concerned with development assistance coordination
from the Netherlands. It provides a service that enables organisation to access
development assistance funding etc. For more information go to the web site.
Vereeniging ZASM (Zuid-Afrikaansche Stichting Moederland)
operates as an institute, financing the activities of the Nederlands-Zuidafrikaanse
Vereniging, the Stichting Studiefonds voor Zuidafrikaanse Studenten and the Suid-Afrikaanse
The ZASM operates with funds originally donated by the Zuidafrikaanse
Spoorwegmaatschappij and held in trust by the present ZASM.
Nederlands Zuidafrikaanse Vereniging (NZAV)
The NZAV was founded in 1881 in order
to provide the Dutch need for the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and
South Africa with a more structural foundation. The NZAV has at the moment about
1,000 members. The NZAV is a non-political organisation. The aim of the NZAV is
to promote cultural relations between the Netherlands and South Africa, in its
Constitution and activities of the NZAV. The NZAV is active
with lectures, information sessions and the exchange of information with reference
to South Africa.
It also arranges visits for influential persons from the
Netherlands and South Africa. Further the NZAV is functioning in close cooperation
with the Suid- Afrikaanse Stichting (Library) and the Stichting Studiefonds voor
Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut (Library)
This Institute (Library) was
founded in 1939 in Amsterdam. This Institute has 18,000 books available and 5,000
books of the NZAV, amongst which several Africana. In 1984 the anti-apartheid
demonstrators occupied the Institute in "Action Bookcharge" (Aksie Boekenstorm).
In the process the building was bombarded with paint-bombs and books were thrown
in the Keizersgracht. The Institute is open on weekdays and also serves as an
information centre about South Africa.
Stichting Studiefonds voor Zuidafrikaanse Studenten
was founded in 1885 and is managed by the NZAV board. The Foundation makes several
scholarships available every year (even up to 25 scholarships) to South African
students so they can study at Dutch Universities, colleges or other education
centres. Funds for the scholarship are obtained from an inheritance of the Zuid-Afrikaanse
Address: All these foundations are housed at:
1015 CK AMSTERDAM
Tel. (020) 6 249 318
Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG)
The VNG is an association
of all Dutch municipalities. Since the democratic changes that took place in SA
in 1994, the VNG has been actively involved in promoting the twinning of cities
between SA and The Netherlands. In 1997, VNG and the South African Local Government
Association concluded a Memorandum of Understanding in terms of which the two
organisations formally agreed to cooperate mainly in the field of the training
of local government officials and councillors. To date, a significant number of
local councillors and officials have received training in various municipalities
in The Netherlands under a programme developed jointly by SALGA and VNG.
contact details of VNG are as follows:
Nassaulaan 12, PO Box 30435
GK The Hague
Tel: 0931 70 3738675
Fax: 0931 70 3635682