Message from the Consul of France
To my dear compatriots,
I would like to greet you warmly in my capacity as Consul General of France in Johannesburg, where I recently took over from my colleague Raymond Quereilhac.
I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you already when I visited the French school in Johannesburg, where I attended the first school council meeting of the new academic year. I also awarded medals to the young cross country running champions!
I also attended a networking session of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI), where I learnt about the French business activities in the country and ideas regarding the improvement of job creation, both in France and South Africa.
A dinner invitation from Les Frenchies gave me insight into your daily lives in a friendly and open manner. This also relates to my mission as Consul General on a safety and security level, as you would have seen during the most recent safety committee meeting, where many of you are volunteers.
Finally, with the Société de Bienfaisance, I have visited several of the older members of our community. We will discuss their activities and circumstances at the next consular meeting.
In Durban, many of you visited the French navy frigate, Le Floréal, during its port of call, where you shared with me the activities of the French community in KwaZulu-Natal.
On civil level, I have celebrated with you your PACS and marriages and congratulated new parents.
In the coming weeks, I will meet with our compatriots from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia, and I look forward to hearing all about your activities, projects and consular expectations.
I am pleased and proud to be in your midst and at the service of the French people living in Southern Africa. Some of you recently arrived here and others have been expatriates for many years, with personal stories that are sometimes traced back to your parents and grandparents.
Our community is rich in talents and skills of all kinds, in many fields. Your dynamism contributes actively to the visibility of France, its attractiveness and its economic and cultural influence in South Africa and in the countries related to this Consulate General. Our country must participate in the transformation of this major country on the African continent and on the international scene. The qualities and strengths of our national community give France a competitive edge in this challenge!
In the Johannesburg consular district, there are nearly 5000 registered French nationals. In other countries related to our Consulate General, we have 540 registered compatriots. With new registrations, as well as increases in visas issued, this figure will increase in future.
I have my work cut out for me and I count on your support in my mission! I have a lot to learn from you all and I very much hope for many fruitful, future exchanges.
See you soon,
Sonia DOÑA PEREZ
Consul general of France in Johannesburg