Government continues to ensure the safety and security, protect the property rights and business interest of citizens abroad

QUOTE

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 414   (CW513E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 29-2011 OF 16 SEPTEMBER 2011

Mr HB Groenewald (DA-NW) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

  1. Whether the Government continues to (a) ensure the (i) safety and (ii) security and (b) protect the (i) property rights and (ii) business interests of citizens abroad; if not, why not; if so, what assistance does her department provide to citizens whose property had been expropriated in the Republic of Zimbabwe;

  2. whether any assistance which was provided was successful; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

  3. whether her department continues with attempts to (a) recover property and (b) secure compensation for expropriated property of citizens; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

  1. The South African Government acting within the ambits/framework of applicable international law and South African legal instruments continues to ensure the safety and security of its citizens abroad as well as to protect their property rights and business interests. With regard to Zimbabwe and in keeping with the provisions of international conventions and applicable South African legal instruments, the Department, on receipt of information that the life of a South African farmer or national is being threatened, engages through diplomatic channels with the relevant Zimbabwean authorities. Furthermore, the South African Embassy in Harare does render consular services to the affected South African citizens.

  2. Consular services are rendered by the South African Embassy through visitation to the affected farms. Most recently, in August 2011, the Embassy, along with the local Zimbabwe police visited South African nationals whose farming operations had been affected by the land invasions.  The visit by the Embassy officials was instrumental in securing the safety of the farmers and enabled them to retrieve their personal belongings from the farm. When cases have been reported in time to the Embassy, assistance in terms of their safety and security has been successful. 

  3. Yes, the Department, informed by international law, signed legal instruments between the governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe and continues to engage with the Zimbabwean authorities on the matter of compensation for the expropriated farms. However, the matter of compensation is negotiated between the affected farmer and the relevant Zimbabwean authorities as provided for by the applicable Zimbabwean legislation. 

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