The main objective of a country's diplomatic service is to establish friendly and mutually beneficial relations with other countries. In South Africa, the diplomatic service is administrated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Candidates are recruited for service in South Africa, or in other countries where a diplomatic or consular mission represents the Republic.
Foreign affairs assistants are responsible for secretarial and clerical support at overseas missions. Their duties include general secretarial work, making appointments and travel arrangements, assisting at official functions, helping with the guest lists and arranging the seating for functions, acting as host or hostess at receptions, operating the computer and applying the necessary security measures.
Although the work is strenuous, it is also very interesting. Assistants are stationed in Pretoria or at overseas missions. A foreign affairs assistant, who is assigned to an overseas mission, must undertake to remain there for four years.
Department of Foreign Affairs
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