Consul office closure discussed with ambassador

30 Jul 21 | Chamber News

The recent announcement by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to close the SA Chicago Consulate in December 2021 sparked SACCUSA to address the issue with the SA Ambassador, Ms Nomaindiya Mefeketo. 

Chamber President, Neil Diamond, met the Ambassador in Washington and said although it was a parliamentary decision to commence with rationalisation of foreign consulates, it will have far-reaching implications for South Africans living in the Midwest. Without consular services to assist with passport applications, documentation for travelling, the issuing of birth and death certificates, Saffas in the region will have to travel across the country to visit other consulates. Diamond says a request was drafted to the acting Director General, Ms Nonceba Losi, to escalate the matter further. Ms Mefeketo will assist in this process. 

“We are proposing the appointment of honorary consuls in different regions to offer assistance to South Africans,” Diamond explains.

During the visit to the offices, Diamond also presented the Head of Home Affairs in the SA Embassy, Ms Constance Ramaro, with a token of appreciation from the chamber for her assistance when SA Citizen, Mr Martin Louw, was stranded with an expired passport. Louw, a farmer from Texas, who had to travel to SA after contracting Covid, had to reschedule his trip. His passport expired which meant that his travel documents were invalid for his second trip. Ramaro went out of her way to assist him in the matter and issued him with one-way travel documents.

Future endeavours, like wine events and golf days, for the South African community were also discussed with the SA Cultural Diplomacy head, Mr Thomas Cronjé. Being responsible for promoting and supporting wine, sport and cultural events, Cronjé was excited to explore special events to be held later this year and in 2022. Diamond says 11 players in the PGA Tournament hail from SA and it offers a unique opportunity to create a meaningful golf event in the future.

Trusted business standards
need to be followed

SACCUSA recently met with six-time Emmy Award winner, Dale Cardwell, America’s favourite consumer investigator. President of the Chamber, Neil Diamond, says they discussed methods of how to establish trusted business standards for SACCUSA members. Cardwell is the founder of TrustDALE, a free online research and referral site for consumers. His website certifies companies based on a seven-point investigative standard that Dale developed from 30 plus years of analysing how consumers got burned. 
He realised that identifying companies that weren’t engaging in those negative practices would protect consumers proactively.

Why join the SACCUSA?

• actively link, connect and network members;
• unlock new business opportunities between South Africa and the USA;
• always project South Africa in a positive way that will promote investment;
• advance transformation, inclusion and representativity of all South Africans;
• reflect South Africa’s unity, diversity and cultural richness;
• work with the embassy to lobby for more bi-lateral trade and  investment between the USA and South Africa

Email Neil to become a member

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