South Africa’s Minister forInternational Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu today launched the #TravelSmart Campaign on Consular Service Awareness. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage South Africans to be informed travellers and also to raise awareness on non-financial services offered by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for South African citizens in distress abroad.
We’ve all come across stories of South Africans experiencing difficult challenges while abroad. Recently there was a story of 51 South African citizens who were detained for violation of visa laws in China. Through the intervention of DIRCO, 49 of them were returned home safely and the remaining 2 citizens remained in custody as they had served as recruiters.
Through #TravelSmart, South Africans will be able to research their destinations and applicable laws of the countries they seek to visit or apply for work in.
“It is indeed heartening to be part of the launch of this campaign which will go a long way in improving the general understanding of the Consular Services we provide to our own populace here at home and abroad.” – Deputy Minister for International Relations & Cooperation Ms Regina Mhaule
The programme will also ensure that in the event of any emergency, South African travellers can be offered urgent advice such as that in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergencies, by a South African embassy or consulate office.
If you need to #TravelSmart with DIRCO, visit www.dirco.gov.za or alternatively contact 012-351-1000 for information and travel tips.
Have you encountered an emergency during your travels? Please share how you were able to get assistance from DIRCO, if at all.