DIRCOs Pan African Parliament another vanity project costing taxpayers millions

Issued by Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
03 Feb 2023 in News

The DA calls on President Ramaphosa, Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor and DIRCO to shelve the failed Pan African Parliament (PAP) project which to date has cost taxpayers millions.

On Wednesday the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co-operation conducted an oversight inspection of the proposed site for the construction of the building to host the PAP. Currently, and for the past 12 years, South Africa has hosted the PAP at Gallagher Estate, at an absurd cost of R3.2 million per month.

This excludes utility bills and other expenses incurred by the SA Government to host the PAP, that could soar to approximately R50 million annually.

In 2010 the ministry fought to host the Pan African Parliament in South Africa. Ten years later, in 2020, Minister Pandor, much to the Portfolio Committee members’ hesitation, boisterously announced that she will be hosting a ‘Soil turning’ ceremony at the new premises for the PAP. Committee members expressed their caution to the minister, having sight of a report that indicated the land was a serious ‘wetland’ and the project wouldn’t take off. This warning fell on deaf ears. Low and behold, a further three years, and the ‘soil turning’ still hasn’t materialised.

The committee expressed their serious concerns regarding the on-site presentations and the astronomical costs already incurred for the rental of Gallagher Estate as well as the projected costs of the PAP precinct. It must be noted that an accumulative total of R90 million has already been spent on this project that is still a barren piece of land.

Issues around the wetlands, rehabilitation of the land, fraudulent claim to the land, disturbing the ‘endangered butterflies’ species amongst others, were excuses given to the PC as reasons for the 13-year delay.

The DA implores government to allow for those members who want to relocate the PAP to their countries, to do so, and abort this calamity of a vanity project and redirect the funding, to address the real issues affecting South African lives on a daily basis.