What services can South African citizens expect from Consular Officers?
Non-Financial Humanitarian assistance in emergencies (i.e. situations involving destitution or distress of South African nationals abroad). This includes, providing a support service in hostage cases as well as assistance rendered to South African nationals abroad in cases of political turmoil or natural disasters.
In the event of an emergency, we communicate on behalf of South African nationals abroad with the next of kin and/or friends in South Africa.
Non-financial assistance for South African nationals who are in hospital abroad, e.g. who may need to be repatriated to SA for urgent medical or professional attention.
Communication with the next-of-kin in the event of, e.g. reported death or life threatening illness or injury. We also provide limited logistical assistance with the importation of mortal remains (including import permit applications) or burials of South African nationals abroad. We do not provide financial assistance arising from the death of a South African national abroad.
Provide guidance to next-of-kin and liaison with relevant stakeholders in the search for missing persons abroad and/or determination of the whereabouts of South African nationals abroad under certain circumstances.
Advice, guidance and support to a parent/guardian in matters of child abduction in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Family Advocate where required, in cases of abduction of South African children to foreign countries. Where there is evidence that the health and safety of the child is in jeopardy, the matter is treated as a priority. DIRCO is not in a position to guarantee the return of the child.
Abduction and kidnapping covers forcible restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons for different outcomes. All instances of kidnapping outside of South Africa should be reported to the DIRCO Operations Room immediately (+27-12-351-1000). We provide advice and guidance to the next of kin of the victim.
Assistance and guidance to foreign representatives regarding their nationals in South Africa who need Consular assistance.
What services do Consular Officers NOT render to South African citizens?
Institute court proceedings or obtain legal advice on behalf of South African nationals locally and abroad.
Secure a release from prison/detention of South African nationals, to secure bail or an early trial (in foreign countries);
Intervene in court and legal proceedings (in foreign countries);
To secure the release of South African Nationals from prison, to secure bail or early trial;
Support a South African national financially whilst in prison;
Render any form of legal advice;
Assist with the transfer of funds to a national who is not in distress;
Interfere in or initiate court or legal proceedings on behalf of South African citizens and body corporate;
Request local authorities to give preferential treatment to South Africans;
Investigate crimes or deaths;
Return a child that has been abducted by a parent / family member.
Obtain a criminal record check on your behalf;
Pay for cremations, burials or the repatriation of mortal remains to South Africa;
Enforce a South African custody agreement abroad or compel a country to decide a custody case;
Pay hotel, legal, medical or any other bills;
Pay travelling expenses;
Undertake work done by travel agents, airlines, banks, etc.;
Obtain accommodation, visas-, study-, work permits or work on your behalf;
Intervene on your behalf in disputes between employer and employee;
Store personal effects or search for lost items;
Accept personal mail and parcels;
Issue pensions and social security benefits;
Formally assist dual nationals in the country of their second nationality.