The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is responsible for apostilling documents in South Africa, as it is the designated Competent Authority under the Hague Convention. The Convention simplifies the authentication process for public documents used in foreign countries, providing a special certificate called the Apostille, which authenticates the origin and content of the document. DIRCO is the only authority that can issue Apostilles in South Africa for public documents issued by government bodies or institutions, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and academic qualifications.

The Apostille Convention requires each country to designate a Competent Authority to issue Apostilles to ensure uniformity and consistency in the process and prevent fraudulent use of the Apostille certificate. DIRCO's role is crucial in facilitating international trade, travel, and other forms of international cooperation by ensuring that public documents issued in South Africa are recognised and accepted as valid in foreign countries that are parties to the Apostille Convention.

In summary, DIRCO's role in document authentication is an essential aspect of its mandate to promote and protect South Africa's interests abroad. 

The Apostille system simplifies the authentication process, and without DIRCO's role as the Competent Authority for Apostilles in South Africa, the process would be more complex and time-consuming, potentially affecting the country's international relations and cooperation. can assist with document apostillisation and legalisation needs, including document packs for international travel or emigration purposes.