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Diplomatic Relations
In April 1991, a South African Office of Interests was established in Warsaw.  The Head of the Office had the personal rank of Minister-Counsellor.  A Polish Office of Interests was opened in Pretoria during March 1991, while a Commercial Office was established in Johannesburg around the same time.  On 18 December 1991, the Polish Secretary of State and the Minister of Foreign Affairs signed a protocol in Pretoria, establishing full diplomatic ties.

Political Relations

Following the finalisation of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Poland and the establishment of full diplomatic ties in 1991, the following high level exchange of delegations have taken place:
  • March 1996: visit of Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to Poland, who was received by amongst others the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Cooperation and the Deputy Minister of Privatisation.  DM Pahad also met with the leadership of the three main political parties in Poland.

  • 1997: visit by Minister Alec Erwin, Trade and Industry to Poland.  The visit was mainly aimed at attending a trade fair in Poznan, and during his visit Min. Erwin met with business in Poznan and Katowice.

  • 1997: Visit of delegation of the South African Senate led by Mr. Kobie Coetzee to the Senate of Poland.

  • November 1998: Private visit by First Lady Jolanta Kwasniewska to South Africa.  During her visit she met with First Lady Zanele Mbeki.

  • November 1998: Minister of Arts, Culture and Science and Technology visited Poland on invitation from his Polish counterpart, Min of Science and Higher Education, Mr. Wisniewski.  Min. Mtshali was accompanied by a group of science and technology experts, and also attended a meeting of the Southern African Large Telescope Board held in Warsaw.  This visit laid the foundation for our bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement of 1999.

  • November 1999: Return visit by Minister Wisniewski and delegation from the State Committee for Scientific Research, the Polish Academy of Science and the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy in Kraków.  The Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed during this visit.

  • May 1999: Eastern Cape Premier Stofile visited the Pomeranian region on invitation from the regional President, Mr. Jan Zarebski, with a business delegation.

  • February 2000: Return visit by Mr. Zarebski to the Eastern Cape.  The two regions signed a Cooperation agreement to exchange experiences and cooperate in about nine different areas, including the maritime industry, trade, agriculture and food production, shipbuilding, etc.

  • June 2000: Minister Dlamini-Zuma attended an international conference on the “Community of Democracies” in Warsaw.

  • 12–14 September 2004: The Official Visit by South Africa’s Deputy President, Mr Jacob Zuma. 

  • 4 May 2007:  The visit by Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, Prof. Michał Seweryński to South Africa for bilateral consultations on Science and Technology as host of Minister Mangena.

  • 12-13 July 2007: The Premier of the Eastern Cape, Ms N Balindlela, paid a private visit to Poland.  The Embassy organised meetings for her in Kraków with the (Regional) Voivod’s office.

  • 8 October 2007: Political consultations took place in Pretoria between Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe and her counterpart, Polish Under-Secretary of State, Mr Witold Waszczykowski.

  • 21-23 September 2008:  visit by Deputy Minister Davies from DTI to Poland, accompanied by business delegations, with bilateral economic consultations with Under Secretary Korolec of the Polish Economy Ministry.

  • 12-14 October 2008:  Minister van Schalkwyk participated in the Pre-UN 14th Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 14) meeting organised by the Polish COP14 Chair and Minister of the Environment in Warsaw.

  • 8-14 December 2008: Minister van Schalkwyk and Deputy Minister Mabudafasi attended the UN COP 14 Summit in Poznan, Poland.

  • 17 February 2009: visit of Under Secretary Korolec, Poland Economy Ministry to South Africa for bilateral economic consultations with Deputy Minister Davies of DTI.

Economic Relations

The first round of economic consultations between the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa and the Ministry of Economy of Poland took place on 17 and 18 November 2005 in Pretoria.  This was followed by subsequent rounds: in Warsaw on 26 and 27 October 2006 and in Pretoria on 17 February.
For more information on trade statistics visit:
Bilateral Agreements
  • Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement for the establishment of Permanent Office of Interests of the Republic of South Africa in Warsaw and of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria - signed on 30 October 1990.

  • Protocol on Establishing Diplomatic Relations - signed in Pretoria on 18 December 1991.

  • Agreement on the Abolition of Visa requirements for holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports - signed in Warsaw on 7 February 1992.

  • Bilateral Air Transport Agreement - signed in Warsaw on 3 September 1993

  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income. Entry into force in December 1995 – Government Gazette 17201 dated 16 May 1995 – signed in Warsaw on 10 November 1993

  • Protocol on Consultations between the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland - signed in Pretoria on 19 September 1995.

  • Agreement on Industrial, Technological and Commercial Co-operation within the scope of the Military Industries - signed in Warsaw on 16 September 1999.

  • Scientific and Technological Co-operation - signed in Pretoria on 25 November 1999.


HE Ms N J Mngomezulu Head of Mission
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