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South Africa – United States relations
South Africa   United States
Map indicating location of South Africa and USA
     South Africa      United States

South Africa – United States relations are bilateral relations between South Africa and the United States.



The United States has maintained an official presence in South Africa since 1799, when an American consulate was opened in Cape Town. The U.S. Embassy is located in Pretoria, and Consulates General are in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Americans and South Africans also have many non-governmental ties: black and white American missionaries, for example, have a long history of activity in South Africa. South Africans (particularly the ANC leadership) also acknowledge support from and ties to the anti-apartheid movement in the U.S.

Ambassador Harry Schwarz with his wife, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in 1993

South African Ambassador to the United States, Harry Schwarz, played a significant role in convincing many Americans that the FW de Klerk government was committed to ending apartheid and to returning normal relations in the early 1990s. Since the abolition of apartheid and the first-ever democratic elections of April 1994, the United States has enjoyed an excellent bilateral relationship with South Africa. Although there are differences of position between the two governments (regarding Iraq, for example), they have not impeded cooperation on a broad range of key issues. Bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism, fighting HIV/AIDS, and military relations has been particularly positive. Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States also provides assistance to South Africa to help her meet her developmental goals. Peace Corps volunteers began working in South Africa in 1997.

On January 28, 2009, newly-elected US President Barack Obama telephoned his newly-installed counterpart Kgalema Motlanthe as one of a list of foreign contacts he had been working through since his presidential inauguration the previous week. Given primary treatment was South Africa's role in helping to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe. According to White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, the pair "shared concerns" on the matter, and Obama, emphasising South Africa's role as leading light in the African continent, opined that she held "a key role" in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. "The President also said that he is looking forward to working with President Motlanthe to address global financial issues at the upcoming G-20 summit in London in April," Gibbs said.[1]

Principal U.S. officials

  • AmbassadorEric M. Bost
  • Deputy Chief of Mission – Donald Teitelbaum
  • Commercial Counselor – Craig Allen
  • Economic Counselor – Perry Ball
  • Political Counselor – Raymond L. Brown
  • Management Counselor – Russell LeClair
  • Public Affairs Counselor – Mary Deane Conners
  • Defense and Air Attache – Colonel Michael Muolo
  • USAID Director – Carleene Dei
  • Agricultural Attache – Scott Reynolds
  • Health Attache – Mary Fanning
  • Consul General Cape Town – Helen LaLime
  • Consul General Durban – Eugene S. Young
  • Consul General Johannesburg – Steven P. Coffman

See also



  1. ^ Quoted in AFP 2009.


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