SA top diplomat, official spends almost R1 million per month on ‘luxury trips’

Henry

Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), and her staff have spent more than R47 million on trips over the past five years.

Pandor revealed this amount in response to a parliamentary question by the DA.

This means that since 2019 the department spends almost R1 million every month on luxury travel and accommodation.

“With the treasurer introducing cost-cutting measures for essential service delivery functions such as housing, health and education, it is astonishing that travel and accommodation budgets for jet ministers still remain largely untouched,” said Emma Louis Powell, the DA’s spokesperson on international relations and cooperation.

It also seems that Pandor and her team’s spending on travel has increased towards the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. This alleged extravagance, of course, has no benefits for the taxpayer, Powell emphasizes.

She says the ANC has shamelessly defended Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine, which has had far-reaching negative consequences for some of South Africa’s most important trade and diplomatic relations.

In the same way pres. Cyril Ramaphosa the Zimbabwean election, even though a report by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) found that this election was unfair and did not meet regional or international standards.

“Dirco failed to comment directly on the SADC observer report, choosing instead to hide behind a dismissive statement that the Zimbabwean crisis is an internal matter. This head-in-the-sand approach fails to recognize that the Zimbabwean crisis is now also an issue on home soil, as Zimbabweans flock to South Africa in droves to escape the imploding economy in Zimbabwe.

“While the democratic decline continues to spread across Africa and the carnage unfolds in Sudan, Dirco has chosen to remain silent.

“The question then arises why South Africans must continue to pay millions of rands in tax money so that Pandor and her staff can fly and stay in luxury hotels, while the ANC’s stewardship of the country’s foreign exchange is focused on supporting sleazy government systems ?”