Expenditure by the Department for the Accommodation, Transport, Protocol, and Entertainment for the Heads of State and other Dignitaries who attended the African National Congress’s Celebration in Mangaung

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 87 (NW95E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 1-2012 OF 9 FEBRUARY 2012

Mr KS Mubu (DA) asked the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What amount was spent by her Department on (a) accommodation, (b) transport, (c) protocol, (d) entertainment for (i) Heads of State and (ii) other specified dignitaries who attended the African National Congress’s Celebration in Mangaung?

REPLY:

1.) On 5 December 2011 Cabinet took a decision on the attendance by Heads of State and Government, of the ruling party’s Centenary celebration in January 2012. The decision followed the historical importance of the event and interest by Heads of State and Government, and fraternal ruling parties to attend the milestone anniversary of the ruling party.  Subsequent to the decision, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) acted in conformity with international accepted protocol requiring the host, in the case, the South African Government, to provide the requisite support to Heads of State and Government who visited the country, inclusive of associated costs. DIRCO acted consistent with the preamble of the Constitution of our country which outlines the aim to realize the attainment of a democratic South Africa, which is able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

The Cabinet decision reads as follows, Cabinet:

a) Noted and acknowledged the historical, cultural and heritage importance of the centenary celebrations, both nationally and internationally;

b) Noted the internationally accepted protocol requiring the host, in this case the South African Government, to provide the requisite support to Heads of State and Government who visit the Country; and

c) Approved that all costs incurred in providing the requisite support referred to above, be accommodated within existing budgets of the relevant departments.

2) DIRCO as the national Department with a mandate to engage with the rest of the world, executed the directive from Cabinet.  Furthermore, a number of bilateral meetings took place in Mangaung in the furtherance of our foreign policy.  The occasion was also used to advance the lobby effort for South Africa’s candidacy for the African Union Chairperson post.

3) The following costs incurred by DIRCO relate to courtesies offered to the 29 Heads of State and Government, two former Presidents, three Vice-Presidents/Vice-Prime Ministers, 11 Foreign Ministers/Deputy Foreign Ministers, eight Ministers, two Heads of Regional/International Organisations and 21 eminent persons who attended the Centenary Celebrations in Mangaung in January 2012.

(a) Accommodation: R11, 014,000 was spent on accommodation for 50 Heads of State and Government with accompanying delegations of plus two, and nine Foreign Eminent Persons with accompanying delegations of plus one.

(b) Transport:  There were no expenses for DIRCO regarding transport for Heads of State and Government, and Foreign Eminent Persons.

(c) Protocol Support: R1, 010, 981 was spent on Protocol logistics.  Note that this amount is inclusive of meals that were provided.

(d) Entertainment: There were no expenses for DIRCO regarding entertainment for Heads of State and Foreign Eminent Persons.

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