19 August 2019 - NW358
Spies, Ms ERJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour
What (a) number of official international trips is (i) he and (ii) his deputy planning to undertake in the 2019-22 medium term expenditure framework, (b) will the (i) destination, (ii) date, (iii) purpose and (iv) number of persons who will travel with the delegation be and (c) is the detailed breakdown of the expected cost of (i) flights, (ii) accommodation and (iii) any other expenses in each case? [
Annually, there are several standard meetings which the Ministry is obliged to attend. These include the Arlac Governing Council, SADC Labour and Employment Ministerial Meetings, G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meetings, BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEMM), ILO Governing Body and International Labour Conference, possible BI-National Commissions held at Head of State level and whose programme is determined by Dirco and departmental bilateral engagements which are determined on an ongoing basis.
Apart from the ILO meetings which are permanently held in Geneva, venues for other meetings are determined by the rotating hosts and this information is only available as the hosts take over the Presidency. The rotating Presidency of these meetings makes it difficult to deduce any costs associated with attendance until the venue and hosting city is decided and communicated.
For example, Saudi Arabia will host the 2019 G20 and the venue of the LEMM is unknown till possibly next year March. Russia will take over the Presidency of BRICS; similarly, the venue of the LEMM will be communicated sometime next year. For the Geneva meetings, the costs of accommodation are negotiated annually via our Embassy and this normally takes place towards the end of the year.
It should also be noted that attendance of Departmental delegations to these meetings is determined by agenda issues for consideration. As such, it is currently impossible to determine the number of delegates nor associated costs.
Further it should be noted that there are obligatory statutory requirements to cover the costs of participation of the business and labour constituencies to some of these meetings. Again, the numbers are determined by the technical issues under consideration.