Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

South Africa’s international focus should be on economic recovery and it must stop meddling in sovereign countries’ domestic affairs

(Budget vote debate in Parliament: International Relations and Cooperation)

South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation must direct its attention to what is of critical importance for the country, such as helping the economy recover by attracting more investors, unlocking markets for trade and tourism and promoting investor confidence.

The ANC government must also keep its nose out of the affairs of others sovereign countries, like Israel, and must realise that expressing apparent solidarity with an international terrorist group, such as Hamas, does nothing for advancing international relations.

Matters such as promoting Africa's sustainable development and participation in an intergovernmental system are indeed important, but given the dire situation in which South Africa currently finds itself, those should not be the main areas of focus.

Furthermore, the Department cannot afford to spend more than R1 billion per annum on renting properties abroad for personnel. It amounts to 16% of the Department's total budget. Instead, the focus must shift to smaller, but more effective, representation in countries that truly matter.

At the same time, attention must be paid to the quality of personnel who represent South Africa abroad. The example of diplomat David Nkosi is still fresh in the memory. He damaged a luxury apartment in Vienna so severely that it cost R715 000 to have it repaired.

Nearly all the appliances in the flat were broken and it was shockingly filthy. In March this year, the Department announced that it is investigating the matter. It is unacceptable that the Department is paying for the damage because that money actually belongs to the country's taxpayers. Nkosi must be held personally liable for every cent of the damage.

The Israel/Palestine issue warrants mention. The South African government and even President Cyril Ramaphosa have sided squarely with the Palestinians and Hamas and publicly condemned Israel's so-called attacks on the Palestinians.

Why has no mention been made of the more than 4 000 rockets that were discharged at Israel, maiming and killing many innocent citizens?

South Africa must realise that it has no influence or credibility whatsoever to play a role in this conflict situation and it would do well to rather keep its nose out of a sovereign country's affairs.



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