The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with South Africa since the first American Consulate was established in Cape Town in 1799. After the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1929, the new U.S. Legation was moved the following year to Pretoria, South Africa’s executive capital. In 1949 the legation was elevated to embassy status. From the 1970s to the 1990s, American relations with South Africa were somewhat rocky, but with the end of the Apartheid era in 1994 and the election of Nelson Mandela came a strong bilateral partnership between the two countries. To mark this relationship a large new consulate compound was completed in Johannesburg in 2008.
- Supporting health initiatives such as PEPFAR and other programs to combat HIV/AIDS, influenza, and cholera
- Helping education through information resource centers, American corners, reading rooms, scholarship programs, book donations, workshops, and academic exchange programs
- Sponsoring workshops and providing technical assistance to small and medium-sized companies through the South African International Business Linkages Program
- Assisting in clean water and other development projects in rural areas of South Africa