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Danish-South African Relations

Denmark and South Africa have strong relations that date back to the support Denmark provided to the struggle against apartheid. In the transition period from apartheid up to 2010, Denmark and South Africa had an extensive development cooperation programme. Today, the relations focus on economic development, trade, technical cooperation in energy, water and smart city development and political relations. 

Mandela visiting Denmark March 1999

Denmark has a long history of relations with South Africa. During the struggle against apartheid from 1963 to 1994, the Danish Government supported the victims of apartheid with 975 million DKK. Denmark was the first country in the world to apply general economic and political sanctions on the apartheid regime, and several anti-apartheid activists visited Denmark during the years leading up to the fall of apartheid. Danish civil society was very active in the anti-apartheid movement and several South Africans lived in exile in Denmark. 

After the end of the apartheid regime, Denmark quickly established diplomatic relations and supported the transition phase. After this, 15 years of extensive development cooperation followed. Roughly, DKK 2.5 billion were spent from 1995-2010 on human rights, education, environment, private sector development and the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

Today, the relationship between South Africa and Denmark is focused on economic cooperation, trade, technical cooperation in specific sectors and political relations. You can read more about the trade-relations and the strategic sector cooperation under the separate headlines for these. On the political relations, Denmark and South Africa has a regular strategic dialogue and enjoys close cooperation on particularly gender equality, human rights, peace and security and youth participation.


Embassy of Denmark

iParioli Office Park, Block B2
1166 Park Street
Hatfield 0083

Phone +27 (0) 12 430 9340