DA to demand DIRCO account to Parliament for trying to give R350 million to Cuba

Issued by Ashor Sarupen MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance
16 May 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Ashor Sarupen MP.

The DA has today written to the Chairperson of the Appropriations Committee, Hon. Sfiso Buthelezi MP, to summons the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to appear before the committee to explain why, based on information exposed in court filings, it intends to donate R350 million to Cuba.

This amount is far more than the R50 million that has already caused in uproar in civil society, and is a slap in the face of South Africans facing rising prices, food insecurity, and in Kwa-Zulu Natal, citizens are struggling to recover from the recent flooding while very little funding has been released for recovery.

Parliament is in the midst of interrogating the budget ahead of a full vote later this month, and the DA intends to ask the department before the Appropriations Committee why it has chosen to donate such a large sum of money when South Africa is struggling financially, when government debt is through the roof, and when public services are failing. The DA further intends to ask why the department would not rather elect to surrender these funds to disaster relief efforts in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The Appropriations Committee is the only committee in parliament with the power to amend the budget, and the DA will further lobby parties represented on the committee to reject this allocation and amend the budget to strip DIRCO of this allocation if it proceeds to defend the indefensible – giving R350 million based on extinct cold war politics rather than taking care of struggling citizens at home.

The DA will be announcing further action steps in relation to this matter in the coming days.