South African Embassy

A message from H.E. Ambassador Yolisa Maya - South African Embassy

South African Ambassador to Ireland

H.E. Yolisa Maya - South African Ambassador to Ireland

The relationship between South Africa and Ireland is a historical relationship based on cultural similarities, shared experiences and mutual support.

The historical connections between Ireland and South Africa go back to the early settlements around the Cape. The bonds of friendship between the two nations were forged in the struggle against apartheid and later in the support South Africa provided to the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

The relationship between South Africa and Ireland post-1994 is based on the strong historical ties between the two countries and it is worth noting that Ireland was the only West-European country not to maintain resident diplomatic relations with the apartheid regime.  Ireland also has no colonial tradition and as such is more sympathetic to the situation of countries that were under colonialism in the past.  There was strong support in Ireland for South Africa’s struggle for freedom and many South Africans, including former Minister Kader Asmal, found refuge in Ireland.  Ireland also provided support for the Reconstruction and Development Programme of South Africa after 1994.

The Embassy strives to promote South Africa’s interests in Ireland, and we are keen to grow and strengthen our already strong relations. We are primarily focused on improving our economic and commercial ties with Ireland, and therefore, from the onset I would like to appreciate your partnership, confident that working collaboratively we can keep this relationship going strong. In that regard I would like to open up communication lines between us to enable easy access to our Embassy at all times.

We are confident that this initiative will also encourage strengthening and enrichment of people to people ties particularly at a sport and cultural level, because we believe that is where real relations are built and strengthened. As a trusted friend of South Africa, the importance of the insights and voice of Business IN South Africa in championing South Africa and Ireland to your respective constituencies is key. Your role and intent make you a better and more relevant Ambassador working in the best interest of our beautiful country, as you enjoy a broader spectrum and cross-section of society than we do in the economic sphere.

Trade between Ireland and South Africa and for that matter, the European Union and the continent of Africa as a whole, is becoming far less challenging day by day with the rapid advances of technology, remote or hybrid working and business processes being outsourced more than ever.

South Africa welcomes these commercial relations and has dedicated vast resources to further reducing barriers to trade and employment. Our work continues in areas such as movement of employment and international visa clearance, import & exports, grants and funding for high potential start ups and many other initiatives.

We welcome and encourage Irish businesses to consider South Africa as a primary source of skilled, educated, diligent, English speaking workers and partner companies able to deliver consistent high levels of productivity and service.

In my privileged position as Ambassador to Ireland, I work closely with many organisations and individuals who support this movement and who devote their time and resources to educating the business community of the possibilities of engaging with South Africa for business and trade.

Our relationship with Anthony Tattan and Business IN South Africa began in 2019 when the embassy became aware of his energy and enthusiasm for all things commerce and collaboration between Irish and South African companies. 

Anthony is an experienced and well respected professional in the technology sector in Ireland. He first visited South Africa in 2018 and immediately set about expanding his business interests to our beautiful continent. 

Alongside commercial success, Anthony joined voluntary international business network groups to encourage and facilitate relations between like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners in both regions. He commits his time and energy to the shared goal of developing exciting business relations between Ireland and South Africa

Mr. Tattan works alongside the South African Embassy to support a number of initiatives.

More recently we have collaborated on bringing together industry leaders, diplomats and key stakeholders to lend their collective support to our efforts and reduce the barriers to employment and trade between our great nations. 

The South African Embassy in Ireland appreciates and supports the efforts of Business IN South Africa and Mr. Tattan’s ongoing work to create employment opportunities for South African citizens both in South Africa and the EU.

Business IN South Africa is a very welcome, exciting inititiative as we believe it is a good time to make new footprints, to build new channels of cooperation and tangibly strengthen our interconnectedness. 2023 marks 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Ireland, a remarkable milestone worth celebrating. We count Business IN South Africa among friends and partners who will lead the way in celebrating this feat and beyond, to bring new/fresh energy the bonds between our two countries and refocus the direction of our relationship especially in the economic sphere.

As we continue to champion the Agenda 2063 of the Africa we want and the Africa Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with its numerous potential opportunities, in our quest to contribute to intra-Africa economic activity, we count on partnerships of this calibre to lead penetration into our beautiful, well-resourced continent with its youthful labour-force.

Yours Sincerely,

H.E. Ambassador Yolisa Maya

South African Embassy