The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, resolved yesterday at its national conference to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office.
According to the ANC, the move is being taken "in order to give our practical expression of support to the oppressed people of Palestine".
The move was welcomed by campaigners, with BDS South Africa hailing the news as "a huge step in the right direction and a massive gain for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement".
"The ANC, Africa's oldest liberation movement, which benefited from boycotts and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, has provided direction and we look forward to others following suit," it added.
According to the Times of Israel, meanwhile, "it is unclear whether the government in Pretoria will implement the decision".