All of these gave the impression of very active, hands-on, comprehensive foreign policy. To manage this operation, the department maintained about 150 diplomatic missions abroad, complemented by a huge personnel component at head office, costing taxpayers R5.27bn in 2012-13. South Africans are entitled to have high expectations of this expensive operation. They may rightfully ask: where is the beef? As chapter 7 of the National Development Plan (NDP), and other commentaries, confirm, the department’s elaborate bureaucratic infrastructure falls short when it comes to successful diplomacy in some critical areas. While its routine diplomatic, protocol and consular work maintain good standards, the same cannot be said about its upper echelon’s resourcefulness, particularly its ability to deliver concrete results in critical foreign policy areas.
Available at: http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2014/03/04/too-much-blue-sky-planning-hobbles-sas-foreign-policy