Population: 56,5 million (June 2017 estimate).  Exchange rate: 1 CAD = 9.70 ZAR (22 May 2018).  Official Languages: 11.  Landmass: 1 233 404 km².   GDP Rank: 37 th (2016, World Bank).
Population: 56,5 million (June 2017 estimate).  Exchange rate: 1 CAD = 9.70 ZAR (22 May 2018).  Official Languages: 11.  Landmass: 1 233 404 km².   GDP Rank: 37 th (2016, World Bank).

South Africa - Canada Relations

The scope of bilateral relations between South Africa and Canada is extensive with cooperation extending into the areas of development, energy, science and technology, agriculture, mineral resources, education, arts and culture, and transport.

The historic bilateral relationship between South Africa and Canada dates back from one of the most difficult times in our country’s history and is characterised by a generosity of good spirit amongst our two peoples. Canada supported the international campaign against apartheid and following South Africa’s democratisation, it assisted with reconstruction and development efforts. In recognising Canada’s role in the fight against Apartheid, the South African Government awarded former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with the Order of the Companion of OR Tambo in Gold on 8 December 2015.

Bilateral cooperation is coordinated within the framework of a Declaration of Intent on Strengthened Cooperation, which was signed in 2003 and which laid the foundation for the Annual Consultations (AC). The AC is co-chaired by the Director-General of International Relations and Cooperation and the Deputy Minister of Global Affairs respectively. Under the AC the two countries meet annually (alternating between South Africa and Canada), and are convened at a Senior Officials’ Level.

Former President Nelson Mandela paid an official visit to Canada in September 1998. President Mandela was presented with Honorary Canadian Citizenship, one of only four ever, amongst them the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and Raoul Wallenberg and more recently Malala Yousafzai. President Thabo Mbeki paid a State Visit to Canada in 2003. There was a reciprocal State Visit by the Canadian Governor General, Michaelle Jean at the end of 2006 which focussed particularly on socio-economic issues. This was the first ever visit by a Canadian Governor General to Africa.

Recent exchanged high-level visits including the visit of the Governor General of Canada, Mr David Johnston to South Africa in May 2013 and the visit of former Deputy President of South Africa, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, to Canada in November 2013. Ministerial visits have been exchanged reflective of the broad spectrum of cooperation between the two countries.

  • Visit of the Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Mr Christian Paradis, to South Africa in February 2014
  • Visit of the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Mr Ed Fast, in June 2014.
  • Visit of the South African Minister of Labour, Ms Mildred Oliphant, to Canada in November 2014.
  • Visit of the former Minister of Mineral Resources, Dr Ngoako Ramathlodi, to Canada in March 2015.
  • Visit of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande, to Canada in May 2016
  • Visit of the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Michael Masutha, to Canada in September 2016.

Most recently, President Zuma met with Prime Minister Trudeau on the margins of the 2016 G20 Summit in China.

Canada’s Development Assistance to South Africa focuses on strengthening service delivery, HIV and AIDS and rural development. The Canadian Government has made available CAN $33 million to fund developmental projects, such as the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

In what could be interpreted as a sign of Africa’s growing importance to Canada, Export Development Canada (EDC) opened their first African office in Johannesburg in October 2015. The office will service Sub-Saharan Africa.
















South African High Commission – Ottawa South African Consulate-General – Toronto:
15 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1M 1M8

Tel: (613) 744 0330
Fax: (613) 741 1639


Mon to Thu: 08:00 AM - 12:00 PM
110 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 600
Toronto, ON
M2N 6Y8

Tel: (416) 944 8825
Office faxline: (416) 944 0925
Direct Office Faxline: (416) 944 0419

Mon to Thu: 08:30 AM - 12:00 PM