Germany and South Africa - a close partnership

Steinmeier und seine südafrikanische Amtskollegin Nkoana-Mashabane Enlarge image (© Photothek/Grabowsky )

South Africa is one of Germany's most important partners in Subsaharan-Africa. The cordial relations are intensiv and versatile. 

The Binational Commission (with its joint committees in the areas of economy, trade and investment, science and technology, development cooperation, defence, social and labour affairs, culture and environment) – created on the occasion of the state visit of Nelson Mandela to Germany in 1996 – is the key forum of bilateral cooperation. 

The last session of the Binational Commission took place in Pretoria on November 21, 2014 and was co-chaired by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

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Flags of Germany, the European Union and South Africa

German-South African Binational Commission

The German-South African Binational Commission is held every two years, alternating between Berlin and Pretoria. The two partner countries debate global challenges and coordinate possible collaboration in various fields of mutual interest.

All hands

Partnerships between Regions and Cities

Germany and South Africa are strongly linked, not only on national level. Since the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, there is a close exchange between regions and cities (twin cities) of both countries.

Aid delivery in Darfur

Trilateral Cooperation with South Africa in Southern Sudan

Since Germany's presidency of the EU and Germany's G8 presidency in 2007, Germany has expanded its cooperation with African countries, focusing mainly on the support of African efforts to promote peace and security.

Cooperation of Civil Society

Apart from the co-operation at government level, the citizens of both countries also work closely together at many other levels. The partnership between German NGOs and their counterparts in South African civil society is an important element of these bilateral relations.

German-South African Relations

FM Steinmeier at opening of the German South African Business Conference