It’s a surprisingly little-known fact that all South Africans are actually advised to register with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) before travelling abroad.
Signing up to the Registration of South Africans Abroad (Rosa) list is easy enough, but as BusinessTech report, people simply aren’t aware of its existence. It gives Saffas – whether they’re tourists or long-term emigres – protection if they’re caught up certain legal situations or foreign political upheaval.
Travelling smarter is something that Dirco are keen to talk about this week. On Tuesday, Coetzee Tyron Lee was sentenced to death in Vietnam for his role in a drug trafficking operation.
Just 24 hours later, the department revealed there are approximately 800 South Africans locked up in foreign prisons right now. They are looking to spread the word about Rosa, so citizens of Mzansi can rely on their government to help them when the going gets tough.
Registering with Dirco’s Rosa service makes it easier for the South African government to help their citizens in the event of an emergency. They are able to assist with things like kidnappings, hostage situations, cross-border child abduction and even provide a helping hand if there is a natural disaster.
The registration process is relatively simple. You visit the Dirco website, which gives travellers some much-needed advice about taking care when overseas. On that same page, there’s a link to Rosa. Click on it, enter some personal information and contact details, then you’re all done and dusted.
Word to the wise, though – the website link can be quite temperamental. When we went to use it on Friday 31 August, it wasn’t behaving at all and we were unable to gain access to the page, as it was taken offline for “maintenance”.