Please find attached a soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.
A parliamentary question put to Minister Naledi Pandor by the Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) spent a staggering R104 350 405 hosting the 3-day BRICS Summit last month.
This is in addition to the R75 million spent by the South African Police Services (SAPS) protecting attendees at the summit, despite most international delegations being accompanied by their respective national security agencies.
We now know that between SAPS and DIRCO, the 3-day BRICS summit cost the South African taxpayer no less than R180 million. This grotesque expenditure is a kick in the teeth for ordinary South Africans who have been left to fend for themselves in a country with one of the highest crime and unemployment rates in the world.
These millions, spent on a talkshop, could have been spent on addressing the crippling cost of living crisis that South Africans are currently battling.
Given the absence of a single BRICS trade agreement, it is doubtful that South Africa stands to derive any tangible economic benefit from this increasingly unholy alliance. Conversely, South Africa’s alignment within the expanding BRICS bloc – which now includes theocratic dictatorships such as Iran – may come to jeopardise existing relationships with our biggest trading partners in the West. In recent years, roughly 77% of foreign direct investment (FDI) into South Africa came from three main Western markets. The ANC will of course, not admit this because it is not in their political interests to do so.
Given that the ANC is funded by Russian oligarchs, it becomes clear that South Africa continues to give BRICS credibility not because it is in our interests as a nation, but because it is in the interests of the ruling elite and their party-political ambitions ahead of the 2024 elections.
The DA will now submit a promotion of access to information (PAIA) request asking for a full breakdown of each invoice cost, the service providers and procurement processes that were followed.
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