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Foreign Affairs Assistant
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.

Satisfying Aspects
- the opportunity to travel and work in other countries
- meeting many different kinds of people
- being in a field that is considered glamorous

Demanding aspects
- working long and irregular hours
- demanding work
- being away from your home country for long periods

A foreign affairs assistant should:
- have integrity, discretion and flexibility;
- have good interpersonal and organising skills;
- be a South African citizen;
- secretarial and computer skills
- sound health in order to cope with the rigorous routine
- pass a selection process
- obtain security clearance for yourself and your spouse, if applicable

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate.

Compulsory Subjects: English
Recommended Subjects: Languages

The Department of Foreign Affairs offers a one-year, in-service training course at their training centre in Pretoria.

Foreign affairs assistants work for the diplomatic service which is administered by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 351-1000 Fax: (012) 329-1000