Foreign Affairs Committee

Session 2002 - 2003: Thursday 24th July 2003

Announcement of New Inquiry

South Africa

The Foreign Affairs Committee has agreed to hold an inquiry into 'South Africa'.

It will inquire into the role of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in relation to South Africa, in the light of the strong historical connections that link the United Kingdom and South Africa, and its important role in the Commonwealth, in the region and in Africa as a whole. In particular, the inquiry will examine:

• the UK's diplomatic and political relations with South Africa, both bilaterally and as a member of the EU;

• South Africa's role in the region of Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, and the continent more widely;

• South Africa's role within relevant regional and international bodies, most notably the African Union, the Commonwealth and the United Nations;

• the impact of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NePAD) and the G8 African Action Plan on South Africa;

• South Africa's contribution to the war against terrorism; and

• the effectiveness of the Foreign Office's work in South Africa, including the entry clearance operation, the work of British Trade International, the British Council and the BBC World Service.

The Committee would greatly welcome written memoranda from interested parties to assist in its inquiry. These should be received by 1st  October 2003, either in hard copy to the Committee address or, preferably, by e-mail to, with a clear indication of the originator's name and address.

Details of any evidence sessions in this inquiry will be announced in the form of a further press release.