SA saves millions by closing 10 foreign missions. Image: DA Abroad
Earlier this year it was announced that South Africa would systematically be closing a number of its overseas diplomatic missions in an effort to cut during 2021/2022 financial year
According to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Naledi Pandor, the affected foreign diplomatic missions would include embassies, high commissions and consulates.
IOL states that opposition parties had for years questioned the need for the country’s number of foreign missions, expressing a need to reduce costs by closing some.
DIRCO CUTS COSTS WITH DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS
National Treasury had said that this exercise would result in savings for Dirco which embarked on the mission of closing overseas diplomatic missions in a number of countries.
National Treasury says that the government has saved millions of rands after the country’s diplomatic missions were closed.
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS THAT WERE CLOSED
When tabling the recent Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said that fiscal consolidation and cutting of wastage in the state would continue.
The MTBPS showed that Dirco had reduced 10 missions abroad and saved R51 million.
“In June 2020, Cabinet approved the closure of 10 diplomatic missions in the following cities: Bucharest (Romania), Chicago (United Stated), Helsinki (Finland), Holy See (the Vatican), Lima (Peru), Milan (Italy), Minsk (Belarus), Muscat (Oman), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) and Suva (Fiji).
“Six of these have already been closed, at a cost of R16.5 million, mainly in compensation of employees, with a saving of R51 million. Some officials have been moved to other missions.
“The remaining four missions will be closed by the end of 2021. These savings helped the department to reduce its shortfall on compensation, with savings on goods and services reallocated to fund other missions,” the statement said.