Thank you for visiting the official website of the South African High Commission in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Whether you are planning to visit South Africa, are keen to pursue economic interests in South Africa or are interested in the activities of the High Commission, we hope that you find the information useful.
Placing humanity at the centre of all of our activities, in particular the provision of service to our clients, the High Commission staff subscribes to “Batho Pele” (Putting People First) and to the principles of “Ubuntu.” These are reflective of the values that a democratic South Africa upholds, as we seek to create a better South Africa for all who live in it. The High Commission in the UK serves to contribute to the creation of a better South Africa through its engagement with the government and people of the United Kingdom.
South Africa’s democracy is a robust one. While we acknowledge that we have many challenges, we are not defined by it and therefore, we endeavour to constantly highlight the successes we have achieved, as a relatively young democratic nation.
South Africa remains a premier tourism destination characterised by youthfulness, beautiful wildlife, pristine beaches and breath-taking scenery, vibrant cultural and heritage offerings, unique cuisine, exciting adventure, an amazing climate and, a people collectively invested in providing you with your best experience yet.
South Africa is also open for business! As an emerging market economy, we boast world-class infrastructure, a highly developed and sophisticated banking system, an independent judiciary, the largest ports on the African continent and, our greatest asset – our highly resourceful people – who are ready to get to work and get the job done.
Following the announcement of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday 19th September 2022, The High Commission will observe the bank holiday. Services at 15 Whitehall will resume on Tuesday 20 September 2022.
Important: Passport Notice
Important developments at the Home Affairs Section of the South African High Commission in London
We are pleased to inform you that the Department of Home Affairs has outsourced passport services to VFS Global with effect from 01 June 2022. Please book your appointment on the link below:
The following services will still be rendered at the High Commission by appointment:
1. Notice of birth/ birth registration
2. 1st ID book and ID book replacement (Smart ID Cards are only issued in South Africa)
3. 1st Adult passport i.e. 15 1/2 year olds who have never been issued with an ID book/Smart Card.
4. Amendments i.e. Change of forenames / Change of Surname (NOT due to marriage or divorce).
5. Emergency Travel Certificate
6. Death registration
7. Consent for minor passport applications (For parents in different countries)
The following services are rendered strictly by post:
1. Retention of South African citizenship.
2. Renunciation of South African citizenship.
3. Determination of citizenship status
Memorial Service for Lord Bob Hughes held at South Africa House
A memorial service for Lord Bob Hughes of Woodside, former Chair of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) from 1976 to 1995, was held at South Africa House last night, organised by ACTSA, the successor body to the AAM.
SS Mendi 105th Anniversary in Portsmouth
The South African High Commission, led by Deputy High Commissioner Charmaine Fredericks, participated in the SS Mendi 105th Anniversary in Portsmouth on 21 February 2022.
The sinking of the SS Mendi was caused by the reckless action of the captain of the SS Darro. It remains the greatest ever wartime disaster suffered by South Africa. During the First World War, there was a shortage of labourers, which, despite the draft, caused delays in moving supplies from the rear to the front lines. SS Mendi was transporting 823 men and officers of the fifth Battalion of the Native Labour Corps from Cape Town to Le Havre, via Lagos and Plymouth.
On 21 February 1917, a large cargo steamship, Darro, collided with the SS Mendi in the English Channel south of the Isle of Wight. Mendi sank killing 646 people, most of whom were black South African troops.
This tragedy is commemorated every year on 21 February.