New York Missions costing taxpayers R2.7 million per month

Issued by Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
07 Oct 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Mergan Chetty MP.

It has become clear that Minister Naledi Pandor and her department believe that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is their own fiefdom, with scant regard for the South African citizens who are plagued with rising costs of living.

The infamous R118 million New York pilot project, which the Department squandered, has still to deliver prosecutions against those found guilty, as well as the recovery of the R118 million, as promised by the Minister before Parliament.

The recently revealed R 2.7 million monthly rental at the newly acquired offices at 845 Third Avenue reeks of yet another New York 2.0 scandal.

The New York oversight Report that was adopted by Parliament recommended amongst others, fast tracking the procurement processes for the relocation of the two missions in New York to a more suitable location.

It is beyond bewilderment that the department in their infinite wisdom is instead opting for the currently occupied offices at a cost of $160 000 a month (R 2.7 million), clearly the Minister and the department are feigning interest about the current economic crisis experienced worldwide but more particularly in South Africa .

During a Portfolio Committee meeting, members raised the issue of the premises for the New York Missions, and we were informed that the Department was in negotiations to sub- lease. The Committee expressed their dissatisfaction with sub leasing, but it fell on deaf ears, as the Department is alleged to have engaged in a sub-lease for this very property.

Clearly, the axing of both the former Director General and CFO had little if any impact on financial accountability by the department, as it’s business as usual.

At the next sitting of the portfolio Committee, we will be requesting for the Minister and the department to present a progress report on the recommendations of the adapted New York Report by Parliament and a detailed report on the processes as well as other potential offices that were considered taking in view the comments by the Auditor General as well as the Oversight Committee.

It’s time for the ANC and it’s deployed cadres to stop abusing the state Coffers for their own personal benefit.