Question NW298 to the President of the Republic

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18 May 2020 - NW298

Profile picture: Marawu, Ms TL

Marawu, Ms TL to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in light of the fact that the Republic is a sovereign State and a member of the Commonwealth, the Republic intends to resign from the Commonwealth; if not, what are the reasons that it will not resign?


The South African Government does not intend to withdraw from the Commonwealth. When South Africa re-joined the Commonwealth in 1994, shortly after its first democratic elections, the South African Government recognised the Commonwealth’s contribution to the global campaign to end apartheid. Since 1994, South Africa has played host to four Commonwealth meetings, including the biennial summit of the 1999 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Durban, where South Africa assumed the Chair until 2001.

Since its return to the Commonwealth, South Africa has participated in summits, ministerial meetings and the governing bodies of the Commonwealth and worked closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat, contributing politically, financially and in terms of capacity and expertise to the work of the Organisation.

The work of the Commonwealth is in line with South Africa’s foreign policy commitments to human rights, democracy, good governance, justice and international law, peace, economic development, multilateralism and promoting the African Agenda. For South Africa, the Commonwealth provides a platform to forge common approaches to these matters of global importance and to promote trade, investment and the exchange of skills and knowledge between countries.

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