Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor. Picture: Supplied
Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor. Picture: Supplied

Dirco delays post-SONA breakfast due to Covid-19 regulations

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Feb 12, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has postponed its annual post SONA breakfast with members of the diplomatic corps to September due Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings.

The customary gathering often consists of over 150 diplomatic missions who attend, making it impossible for the gathering to take place under the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations, says Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

“Covid-19 regulations are making it difficult to have this kind of gathering. You know with diplomats there’s over 150 missions accredited to South Africa and as you know the limitation in terms of the regulations is 50. If we host 50 and leave the rest we’ll create diplomatic difficulties,” Monyela said.

With most gatherings turned into virtual meetings, Monyela said that this would prove useless for the meeting of the diplomatic corps gathering as the idea behind the gathering was not just international discussions on issues of diplomacy but for contact between diplomats.

“It’s also about sharing a meal and networking, so doing it virtually takes away from the object of the gathering. So we’ve pushed it to later in the year, hopefully by then the situation would have improved.

“It’s still on the calendar but it will just not be this weekend. In terms of the date it’s a kind of wait-and-see game, but we are looking at September. If by then the situation has changed and the regulations are a bit relaxed then we’ll be able to host it,” Monyela said.

However, he said that in order to maintain contact with the diplomatic corps they host them in smaller groups per regions such as Africa, Asia and Europe at the department’s offices.

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Political Bureau

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