"South Africa is considering imposing economic and cultural sanctions on Israel as part of the worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The country's Minister of Arts and Culture announced at a conference in Pretoria last week that the government is seeking to increase support for the dispossessed Palestinian people.
"We want to step up our support of the Palestinians and are investigating a number of peaceful ways to upgrade this support. We have no problem with supporting the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel," Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile told a local newspaper.
South Africa's ruling African National Congress has long supported Palestinian independence due to their experience of life under apartheid.
Mashatile also announced a cultural agreement between South Africa and Palestine. He said the commitment was important to the Palestinian cause was particularly strong "because we count the people of Palestine among those patriots who stood by us in our struggle for national liberation."
The BDS campaign, which began in 2005, aims to create pressure on Israel by calling for economic and cultural sanctions against the country.
It demands an end to Israel's occupation of all Arab lands as well as recognition of the rights of Palestinians inside the Occupied Territories.
Omar Barghouti, human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, welcomed the announcement.
"Mashatile’s public embracing of BDS indicates that the South African government is seriously considering imposing sanctions on Israel as a result of its intensifying destruction of Palestinian society and denial of basic Palestinian rights," he told Al-Akhbar.
"By imposing meaningful sanctions against Israel, South Africa would establish itself as a world leader in upholding international law and holding to account states that are gravely violating it," he added."