1. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has made an annual contribution to the running costs of the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Pretoria since 1995. The Department has also since 2018 provided financial assistance for the operational needs of the Embassy of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Pretoria.
2. (a) As stated above, foreign countries which have received financial aid during the specified years to operate in the Republic are the State of Palestine and SADR.
(b) The details of the expenses covered by the financial aid include maintenance of the Palestinian and SADR Embassies in Pretoria. From the 2018/2019 to the 2022/2023 financial year, the Department paid a total of R8 999 932 to the Palestinian Embassy, which is approximately R1,3 million a year. With regard to the SADR Embassy in Pretoria, the Department contributes R1 948 100 annually with a 10% adjustment after every two years.
3. (a) Training payments issued during the above years for foreign delegations coming to the Republic were for DIRCO’s annual International Women’s Programme for Mediation, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution; and for the Gertrude Shope Annual Dialogue Forum and Capacity-Building Programme for Women Mediators and Peacebuilders.
(b) The expenses for the aforementioned training programmes for foreign delegations have been paid from DIRCO’s budget for training and skills development. These training payments are not regarded as foreign aid. DIRCO procures a service provider to present these training programmes and pays the training fees directly to the service provider. Fees paid to South African training presenters are based on the Department of Public Service and Administration’s (DPSA) guidelines. In addition to the presenter’s fees, the training expenditure also cover subsistence and travel, as well as international air travel for participants. Due to COVID-19, DIRCO’s training programme was held virtually in 2021. Therefore, DIRCO did not incur costs during that year.
4. The Minister will not make a statement on the matter.