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29 March 2021 - NW889

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether there is any initiative by BRICS towards COVID – 19 vaccine development and/or collaboration to procure vaccines collectively for the purpose of shared distribution; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

a) The Government of South Africa remains seized with the modalities in respect of the downgrading of the South African Embassy in Israel. The Department will communicate further actions upon the conclusion of our deliberations; and

b) The Government of the Republic of South Africa remains of the view that the only way to realise a lasting peace in the Middle East Peace Process, is to ensure a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel with a sovereign, internationally recognised and independent State of Palestine, based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within recognised and secure borders.

29 March 2021 - NW892

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether there is any initiative by BRICS towards COVID – 19 vaccine development and/or collaboration to procure vaccines collectively for the purpose of shared distribution; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

South Africa is committed to the establishment of a physical BRICS Vaccine Research and

Development Centre, the concept of which it initiated during South Africa’s BRICS Chairship in 2018. Government is in the process of establishing an inter-departmental task team comprising the Department of Science and Innovation, Department of Health, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. The objective of the Task Team will be to re-assess South Africa’s priorities on this issue and cooperate on the operationalisation of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre, to expedite the process under India’s 2021 BRICS Chairship and report regularly to the four Ministers.

29 March 2021 - NW675

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Hinana, Mr N to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether (a) her department and / or (b) any entity reporting to her makes use of private security firms; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in each case, what is the (i) name of each firm, (ii) purpose, (iii) value and (iv) duration of each specified contract?

Reply:

No, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) does not make use of private security firms. All security officers at DIRCO Head office are employed full time by the Department. The security staff complement comprises of 88 security officers who work through a shift system that has been negotiated with organised labour though the Departmental Bargaining Chamber.

The security services at DIRCO’s three State Protocol Lounges (OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International airports), are offered by Airports Company South Africa and the South African Police Service.

However, South African Missions abroad require security services, so in this case private security firms are used. Due to the limited number of personnel that DIRCO can deploy, missions rely on private security firms for security.

 

10 March 2021 - NW512

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Marais, Mr EJ to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether any staff member in her department (a) performed work in addition to the responsibilities related to his or her work, outside normal working hours , in the past five financial years and (b) has been performing such work during the period 1 April 2014 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, in each case how is it determined whether such work is being performed or not;if so, in each case, (i) what number of staff members and (ii) in what job or work categories are the specified staff members employed; (2) Whether approval for such work was obtained in each case; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what is the policy of her department in this regard, (b) by whom are such applications considered and approved, (c) what number of contraventions of this policy were brought to the attention of the National Treasury in the past five financial years and (d) what steps have been taken against the transgressors?NW568E

Reply:

(1)(a) Yes

(b) Yes, approval for Other Remunerative work has to be obtained and the approval is valid for 12 months (i) 120 since 01 April 2015 (ii) Line function and Administration components of the Department.

(2)(a) Yes, the policy of the Department that is followed is prescribed by the Public Service Regulations, 2016 and administred according to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Guide on Managing other Remunerative Work in the Public Service. Disciplinary steps may be considered if approval by the Director-General was not obtained.

(b) The appointed Ethics Officers in the Department receive the applications for processing and forward it to the Director-General for approval/disapproval

(c) None

(d) Not applicable

24 February 2021 - NW81

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether, considering the widespread allegations of human rights violations and intimidation by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, it is the Republic’s position that the Ugandan Elections have been free and fair; if not, what is the position in this regard ; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether it is the Government’s position that the election outcome is legitimate; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW84E

Reply:

1. South Africa is not in a position to pronounce on whether the Ugandan Elections were free and fair because it did not observe the Elections. Based on the African Union principle of subsidiarity, which mandates regional organisations to take the lead in managing political and other issues occurring in their respective regions, South Africa defers its position to observations that were made by the East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that had sent Elections Observer Missions to Uganda. Unfortunately, the African Union did not send an Elections Observer Mission which could also have guided South Africa’s position. Both these regional authorities did not pronounce on whether the Ugandan Elections were free and fair.

 

2. The outcome of the Elections was announced by a legitimate entity in Uganda, the Election Commission, on 16 January 2021. However, it was reported on 21 January 2021 that one of the Presidential contestants, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has challenged the outcome of the Elections. He lodged his complaints with in the Supreme Court of Uganda, which is the apex court in Uganda. He also has an option of referring the matter to the East Africa Court of Justice which also has jurisdiction following the exhaustion of local remedies. South Africa supports the resolution of political disputes through political and legal means, and will await the the outcome of the judicial process which is currently underway.

22 February 2021 - NW134

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether, with reference to increased rates of infection in Zimbabwe as a result of the COVID – 19 second wave, the South African Government extended any help to Zimbabwe; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) No, the South African Government has not extended any help during the second wave of COVID-19 to Zimbabwe. However, it is heartening to note that the Development Bank of Southern Africa donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) during the first wave to the Government of Zimbabwe in July 2020 to help in the fight against COVID-19 at that time and for future use. The items included, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits, surgical masks, face shields, examination gloves, surgical gowns, medical suits and goggles.

22 February 2021 - NW82

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What are the details of the (a) phone call she had with the newly appointed United States Secretary of State, Mr AJ Blinken, and (b) issues regarding Africa that were discussed?

Reply:

a) Both principals underscored the importance of the bilateral relationship. The US Government acknowledged South Africa as an indispensable partner and remarkable global player, as well as an important commercial partner for the US. In the area of health, South Africa acknowledged the US support for PEPFAR, which has been impactful in South Africa and the region.

Covid-19 pandemic (US): The Biden Administration has committed to working with partners in international institutions, including on continental issues. Within the World Health Organisation (WHO) context, the US has joined the COVAX initiative and will also work with other multilateral institutions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The US also wants to address global health security and work on climate impact with other countries.

South Africa welcomed the decision by the Biden Administration to re-join the WHO and the COVAX initiative. The US aproach aligns with South Africa’s position that there should be equitable and affordable distribution of vaccines. The focus on global health will assist to prepare less developed countries, including in Africa, to better prepare for the next pandemic, when it occurs. Mitigating the impact of climate change is also priority for South Africa and therefore the importance that the US is placing on this matter, including within the multateral context, is welcomed.

China: The US Government will adopt a more nuanced approach towards China, but the tensions with China are expected to continue under the Biden Administation. It was conveyed that South Africa and China enjoy good relations and that it was important to ensure that all countries, including the US, China and Russia, work jointly to assist those who are least able to help themselves. The Secretary displayed a willingness to further discuss this matter with South Africa.

b) According to Secretary Blinken, Africa will be a priority for the Biden Administration. South Africa raised the World Trade Organisation (WTO) position for Director-General and requested that the US Government support the candidature of former Nigerian Finance Minister, Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was opposed by the former President, Mr Trump.

Shortly after the telephone conversation, the Biden Administration expressed its strong support for the Nigerian candidature.

21 December 2020 - NW2976

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether she will approach the African Union to intervene and stop the fighting in Ethiopia; if not, why not; if so, what steps have been taken to date?

Reply:

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union (AU), appointed former President Joaquim Chissano of the Republic of Mozambique, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia, and former President Kgalema Motlanthe of the Republic of South Africa, as African Union Special Envoys to Ethiopia in order to assist the Government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in finding a solution to the recent conflict that had occurred in the Tigray Region of that country.

The AU Special Envoys visited Ethiopia and held meetings with a range of interlocutors from 26 to 28 November 2020, including President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, the leaders of important Democratic Insitutions, and the leaders of opposition political parties. Subsequently, the AU Special Envoys have briefed President Ramaphosa on the outcomes of their visit to Ethiopia. The President will remain seized with the issue and future action will be decided in consultation with the Government of Ethiopia, the African Union Commission, and the AU Special Envoys to Ethiopia.

21 December 2020 - NW3054

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

In view of the fact that her department’s foreign policy principles are centered on promoting peace, human rights and dignity for all people, (a) what is her department’s official position on internet shutdown and interruptions in Africa which have been linked to the countries with records of human rights violations and implicated in the practice of authoritarian regimes (details furnished) and (b) how has her department sought to engage with other countries in the African Union to deter the authoritarian and undemocratic practises?

Reply:

a) As a Member of the African Union (AU), South Africa respects the sovereignty of AU Member States as enshrined in Article 4 of the Constitutive Act of the AU. South Africa also encourages Member States through, inter alia, the AU and its Organs, to adopt a culture of human rights as a prerequisite to achieving the Africa We Want, envisaged in Aspiration 3 of Agenda 2063 which envisions “An Africa with good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.”

b) In November and December 2020, South Africa participated in the 67th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), in

17 December 2020 - NW2738

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether the website of the SA High Commission in London http:www.southafricahouseuk.com/, which has been dysfunctional for several months, is due to technical matter that is being attended to; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what is the time frame for the website to return to being functional?

Reply:

The South African High Commission in London’s contract with its service provider, which hosted the website, expired in August 2020 and it took longer than expected to enter into a contract with a new service provider and to update the content. However, the new website (www.southafricahouse.uk) has been operational since November 2020 and allows High Commission staff to manage the content directly. Civic and immigration documentation is now available for download directly from the website.

14 December 2020 - NW2564

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

With regard to all properties rented by her department abroad where the lease has not been renewed over the past five years, what (a) is the total number of the specified propertries for which her department has not received back a deposit, (b) what was the total amount of the deposits and (c) what were the reasons for not receiving back the deposits? W3235E

Reply:

a) Over the past five (5) years the department has not received back deposits from 101 properties that have been rented abroad.

b) The total amount of the deposit is R9 393 429.44.

c) Reasons for not receiving back the deposits are:

  • Damages to properties
  • Deposits used by the landlord for the maintenance work and repairs of damages.
  • Lease terminated by mission outside the terms and conditions of contract e.g. late notice

14 December 2020 - NW2658

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What (a) role did the Government play towards the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the warring parties in Libya and (b) will be the continued role of the Government in ensuring that the (i) peace agreement holds and (ii) rule of law and democracy is restored in Libya?

Reply:

South Africa as Chair of the African Union (AU) continues to follow with close interest the successful conclusion of the meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Tunis, Tunisia, that took place on 15 November 2020. South Africa is committed to the establishment of peace and security throughout Libya, hence South Africa’s robust support for the Ceasefire Agreement signed in Geneva on 23 October 2020 and our continued commitment to strengthen AU and UN cooperation in order to work with common purpose to end the conflict in Libya and by extension, throughout the continent. South Africa continues to play a prominent and influential role in the work of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya (AU HLC) as well as the Contact Group of Libya since their establishment as mechanisms for supporting a sustainable and lasting political solution to the protracted crisis in Libya. Regarding Libya, South Africa, as a member of the AU HLC will be in the position to ensure stronger management, control and oversight of the on-going peace process in that country. Meetings of the AU HLC are convened at the level of Heads of State and Government and Minister.

Furthermore, South Africa, during the 14th Extraordinary Summit on Silencing the Guns, reiterated that it is imperative that the African Union (AU) and its peace and security architecture supports vulnerable countries by focusing particular attention on the issue of post conflict-reconstruction and development (PCRD), through institutional capacity building, the rule of law and security sector reform, which are core elements for a lasting peace, in line with the guiding principles of African Union Master Roadmap and Agenda 2063.

 

 

09 December 2020 - NW2872

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether, given that her department has not fulfilled the agreement on the permanent housing of the Pan – African Parliament, she has considered the implications of not treating the specified matter with the respect and importance it deserves, as it may convey a message that the Republic is not in support of the African united agenda; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Yes, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has treated the matter of providing permanent housing to the Pan-African Parliament with the respect and importance it deserves.

South Africa has hosted the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) since 2004. In terms of the Host Country Agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the African Union Commission on the Seat of the Pan-African Parliament, the Government of South Africa is indeed obliged to provide permanent headquarters for the Pan-African Parliament. The Pan-African Parliament is currently based at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg until the process to build a permanent headquarters for the Pan-African Parliament is finalised.

The identified site in Midrand for the construction of the PAP headquarters was found to be a wetland by environmental experts leading the project. It was therefore, decided that the project on the site would be closed and could not continue as the Department of Environmental Affairs had determined that any activities on that land are and would always remain illegal.

The matter has been referred to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), as the mandated line-function Department to satisfy the duty of providing the Pan-African Parliament with permanent headquarters. The DPWI has indicated that pending some internal investigations, on the original site, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will be advised accordingly. In this regard, the DPWI has further informed the DIRCO of their application for an urgent interdict to stop construction on the original site until the aforementioned issues have been resolved.

It is envisaged that the forensic investigation may constitute further delays to the fulfilment of the Republic of South Africa’s longstanding commitment to provide permanent headquarters for the Pan-African Parliament. Therefore, the DIRCO has requested the DPWI to assist in expeditiously identifying and procuring an alternative site.

To obviate the impression that the Republic of South Africa is not in support of the African united agenda, in 2019, the Department facilitated the process for the successful signing of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union Relating to the Pan-African Parliament of 2014. Moreover, the process for obtaining Cabinet approval for the ratification of the aforementioned instrument is advanced and the Parliamentary processes are being finalised.

In addition, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation continues to unwaveringly fulfil its obligations towards the African Union on the seat of the Pan-African Parliament to the best of its ability.

09 December 2020 - NW2924

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

With regard to South Africa being expected to take over as Chair of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of December 2020, what (a) issues has her department prioritised for the chairmanship of the UNSC and (b) linkages have been made by her department for South Africa, as current chair of the African Union (AU), to prioritise the AU theme of Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020 for the Chairmanship?

Reply:

(a) In keeping with its focus of promoting the African Agenda, South Africa will use its forthcoming Presidency to highlight the strengthening of AU-UN cooperation and to focus on preventative diplomacy, conflict prevention and resolution on the African Continent. In addition to the events proposed by South Africa, the programme of the work of the UNSC for December 2020 includes mandated reporting cycles and predetermined meetings of the Council. Matters scheduled in December, include, inter alia, the mandate renewal of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); the situation in Sudan; the authorisation for action on addressing piracy of the coast of Somalia; the situations in Guinea-Bissau, South Sudan, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Israel/Palestine; and, Iran’s compliance with its obligations in terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear-deal).

(b) South Africa’s second and final Presidency during its current term as an elected member of the UNSC will witness the convergence of (i) South Africa’s chairing of the African Union (AU); (ii) the Presidency of the UNSC; and, (iii) the final month of the AU’s ambition to silence the guns on the Continent by 2020. To prioritise the silencing of guns on the African Continent, South Africa has scheduled two debates during the month with a focus on the resolution of conflicts on the African Continent. These are a debate on “Sustaining Peace: Security Sector Reform (SSR)”, held at Ministerial level held on 3 December and a debate on “Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations (AU)”, held at Presidential level on 4 December. These discussions give focus on the efforts of the United Nations and the African Union to ensure sustainable peace on the African Continent.

01 December 2020 - NW2640

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What (a) are the detailed reasons that the South African Consul General has still not found a satisfactory residence to stay in Los Angeles; and (b) are the details of the complaints with the last 20 properties that the Consul General was shown in Los Angeles; (2) What are the reasons that the property that was leased by the previous Consul General was not available for the incumbent?

Reply:

1. (a)The South African Consul-General arrived in Los Angels at the end of January 2020. While searching for a suitable residence for the CG, the lockdown (Stay-at-Home) Order was issued in Los Angeles in March 2020, which made it difficult to continue searching for and viewing properties.

(b) Although more than 20 properties were viewed in areas recommended by the local office of the US State Department, no suitable property was identified during this initial period. As part of the search, three properties deemed to be suitable were later identified, but the Mission lost the properties due to reasons related to the landlords’ decision.

(2) The previous CG vacated the property in July 2019, which is 5 months before the arrival of the incumbent CG, who arrived at the end of January 2020. In this regard, it was deciced that it was not cost effective to keep renting an unoccupied property (CG’s residence), so the contract was terminated or not renewed with a view that another property will be searched for as soon as the CG arrives.

16 November 2020 - NW2642

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether any of the current officials from her department who were implicated in the Charles Luppin Report should have been further investigated and/or disciplined; if not what is the position in this regard; if so what are the relevant details; (2) Whether any of the specified officials have been given a posting in 2020 or 2021; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) who are the officials and (b) where were and /or will they be posted?

Reply:

1. There were no officials implicated in the Charles Nupen report, who had to be subjected to further investigation or disciplinary procedure.

2. (a) There are no officials specified in Charles Nupen report who have been given any postings in 2020 or 2021. (b) There are no officials specified in the Charles Nupen report who will be posted.

16 November 2020 - NW2641

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

1. Whether the department uses the WIN system; if not, what (a) system does the department use currently in the Republic’s missions abroad and (b) was the last date the systems were upgraded. 2. What is the name of the person responsible for the maintenance of software and hardware in the Republic’s missions. 3. Whether the department servers in every mission are protected to some sort of criteria; is not, why not, if so, what are the minimum criteria?

Reply:

1. The Department is currently running on a mixed Windows server environment, and is in the process of virtualizing ICT Services, leveraging on Microsoft capabilities as per the Enterprise Agreement signed between DIRCO and Microsoft in March 2020. As part of the project, the Department is implementing Microsoft 365 which include modern workplace.

2. There is a team of ICT officials providing maintenance and support of hardware and software in different regions led by Ms R. Phafane (Director: Infrastructure Management).

3. The Department has initiated a process to modernise the ICT Infrastructure, including the server environment for both Head Office and Missions. The critical security and software licenses have been renewed and implemented as part of short-term interventions to stabilize the ICT environment whilst improving the Cybersecurity posture.

03 November 2020 - NW2383

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What multilateral programmes do the Southern African Development Community bloc and other African regional blocs have in addressing human trafficking on the continent?

Reply:

Most Member States in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) have acceded to the first universal instrument dealing exclusively with human trafficking namely the United Nations (UN) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children which serves as a supplement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (2000) known as the Palermo Protocol. This instrument provides the basis for cooperation and sharing of good practices among UN Member States to address human trafficking which is by nature a cross border phenomenon.

At the continental level the African Union adopted the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 1981, which prohibits slavery and human trafficking. The Charter is further complemented by the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which make specific provisions for the protection of women and children against slavery.

Furthermore, the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, adopted by the African Union in 2006, reaffirmed the provisions provided for in the continental instrument on human trafficking and encouraged African States to adopt legislation and institutional measures to combat trafficking in human beings. It aims at developing co-operation, best practices and mechanisms to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings. The Action Plan takes a holistic human rights approach and includes measures to protect the victims and prosecute the traffickers.

SADC adopted a Regional Strategy to Combat Illegal Migration, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons. This Strategy includes capacity building and training, revision of the legal frameworks, public education, awareness raising and victim support. Complementary Strategies to this Regional Strategy are the Revised Strategic Plan of Action on Combatting Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, and the SADC-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Programme. Progress from these programmes was noted, amongst others, in the following areas: enactment of legislation criminalising Trafficking in Persons; the development of National Action Plans, Victim Identification Guidelines; Implementing Regulations, Standard Operating Procedures and referral mechanisms; and the establishment of the Regional Database on Trafficking in Persons. As the Regional Strategy to Combat Illegal Migration, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons is due to lapse in 2023, the SADC Secretariat, in conjunction with Member States, are reviewing the Regional Strategy.

Member States of the East African Community (EAC), namely; Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, are all party to the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Transactional Organized Crime and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Article 124 of the EAC Treaty read together with Article 12 of the Protocol on Peace and Security, requires Member States to undertake joint operations in controlling and preventing transnational and cross-border crimes including human trafficking. EAC Member States have specific laws on counter-trafficking in persons which are in line with the above UN Convention and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. However, the penalties for offences under the laws of Member States differ from one jurisdiction to another.

In 2016, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill. The object of the Bill is to provide for a legal framework for the prevention of trafficking in persons, prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking in persons, provision of protection mechanisms and services for victims of trafficking in persons and development of partnerships for co-operation to counter trafficking in persons in the Community.

03 November 2020 - NW2490

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of international relations

(1) In light of recent reports that have allegedly linked an employee of her department to the murder of two women in Sudan (a) what steps has her department taken to co-operate with the Sudanese government in resolving the matter (b) how does her department ensure that diplomatic immunity is not used to cover up crimes and misconduct by employees posted abroad?

Reply:

1. (a) South Africa and Sudan share cordial bilateral relations and the former is co-operating with the Sudanese authorities with regard to investigating the allegations levelled against the partner of the departmental employee. Communication was received through diplomatic channels and subsequently conveyed to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) for their guidance.

(b) The Department has no intention of abusing diplomatic immunity nor covering a crime allegedly committed by any employee. The Department has referred the matter to the relevant departments dealing with allegations of this nature.

30 October 2020 - NW2491

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

In light of the fact that the Nigerian government is currently experiencing widespread protests against police brutality and its governance structures, what (a) is the Government’s position on the current situation in Nigeria and (b) agreements are in place between the South African and Nigerian governments that can allow for a sharing of experiences and assistance in police reform and better governance in Nigeria?

Reply:

(a) South Africa supports the statement issued by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, on 21 October 2020, strongly condemning the violence that erupted on 20 October 2020 during protests in Lagos, Nigeria that has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. The Chairperson reiterated the African Union's commitment to continue to accompany the government and people of Nigeria in support of a peaceful solution, and encouraged the Nigerian authorities to conduct an investigation to ensure the perpetrators of acts of violence are held to account

South Africa stands ready to assist should such a request come through the competent authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(b) The Agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Nigeria in respect of Police Cooperation was signed on 14 March 2001 during the 3rd Session of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Nigeria. The Agreement came into force on 27 July 2005 and makes provision for the exchange of working experience, as well as training of personnel. Cooperation within the framework of the agreement is on the basis of a request received from the interested competent authority.

27 October 2020 - NW2381

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether she has engaged with the Minister of Finance on the closure of foreign missions in order to save costs; if so, (a) which foreign missions will be closed and (b) what impact will the closure of the specified foreign missions have on the bilateral countries?

Reply:

Yes, there was consultation with the Minister of Finance on the possible closure of some foreign missions.

(a) The Missions proposed to be closed are still to be considered.

(b) Once considered, consulations will be embarked upon with the relevant host countries to ensure that bilateral relations are not affected.

27 October 2020 - NW2382

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

In view of the increasing damage being caused by the current insurgency in Mozambique, especially the displacement of its citizens, by what date does she envisage will the Southern African Development Community (SADC) invoke Article 6(1) of the 2003 SADC Mutual Defence Pact, which stipulates that an armed attack against a state party shall be considered a threat to regional peace and security and such an attack shall be met with immediate collective action?

Reply:

The Troika of the Southern African Developent Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is seized with the matter of the security situation in the Republic of Mozambique. Currently, there is no envisaged specific date to invoke Article 6(1) of the 2003 SADC Mutual Defence Pact. Collective action will be decided upon in accordance with the Roadmap, which is being awaited from the Republc of Mozambique. Article 7(1) of the same SADC Mutual Defence Pact should be kept in mind, which reads as follows: “State Parties undertake to respect one another’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and, in particular, observe the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of one another”. Article 7(2) of the 2003 SADC Mutual Defence Pact further states that “no action shall be taken to assist any State Party in terms of this Pact, save at the State Party’s own request or with its consent”.

25 September 2020 - NW2135

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Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What are the reasons that the Government has not signed the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data and (b) by what date does she envisage the specified Convention will be signed by Government?

Reply:

a) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is working with the relevant Government departments to facilitate the signing and ratifying process.

b) South Africa is committed to signing and ratifying the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data as soon as possible.

21 September 2020 - NW2136

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Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What are the reasons that the Government has not ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, commonly known as the Budapest Convention, after becoming a signatory on 23 November 2001 and (b) by what date does the Government intend to ratify the Budapest Convention?

Reply:

a) The Government does not intend to ratify the Budapest Convention, despite the fact that South Africa (SA) participated in negotiations on the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, and signed the instrument on 23 November 2001. The Government took the decision to not ratify this instrument on the basis that the country’s policy on cybercrime did not comply with the provisions of the Convention. Even with the recent adoption of the Cybercrimes Bill by both Houses of Parliament, SA will not ratify this regional instrument, as a matter of principle, as the country would have little influence of shaping the instrument because non-EU members are only allowed to make submissions which the CoE considers in their absence. This is a position held by all Government departments.

b) Not applicable.

07 September 2020 - NW2222

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether, the reference to the Foreign Service Act, Act 26 of 2019, in terms of which her department is compelled to render consular services in line with the Guidelines for the Provisions of Consular services, civic and immigration services are fully operational at all the South African missions; if not, (a) which missions do not currently have full operational services and (b) what are the reasons for not providing full operational services in each case?

Reply:

Yes, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Missions abroad have been rendering consular services and civic and immigration services to South African citizens abroad utilising the Consular Services Guidelines of the South African Government. While the Foreign Service Act (FSA), Act 26 of 2019, recognises, acknowledges and reinforces the consular services and civic and immigration services that the Deparment has been rendering to South African citizens abroad, however, the Act is not yet in force.

a) All South African Missions have full services at all times.

b) None.

13 August 2020 - NW1567

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What measures is the African Union (AU) taking to support countries that cannot pay their membership fees in order to belong to this essential African body; (2) Whether the position of the AU is that distressed African countries should sacrifice the wellbeing of their citizens in order to maintain their participation and to enjoy the protection of the AU, as is the case with South Sudan that has been removed from participating at the AU due to outstanding membership fees; if not, what is South Africa’s position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1943E

Reply:

1. The African Union (AU)measures relate to the Assembly Decision 3 (XI) which states that the Assembly may consider requests from Member States experiencing force majeure circumstances making them temporarily unable to pay their assessed contributions.

2. No, it is not the position of the AU that African countries should sacrifice the wellbeing of their citizens, no matter the circumances, to maintain their participation and to enjoy the protection of the AU.In the case of South Sudan, it should be noted that the AU Member State has since honoured its assessed contributions and can participate in all meetings.South Africa believes in a rules based international system and as such, it is important thatthe country follows the norms, standards and directives of the AU as regards to assessed contributions. It should be noted that some Member States have, in the past, written to the Assembly, which has acknowledged the challenges faced by Member States in paying their contributions to the Union. The Assembly has requested the Commission to engage the Member States in order to agree on a payment plan for clearing their arrears and report back to the Executive Council in 2020.

13 August 2020 - NW1574

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(a) What is the average return period when a diplomatic bag is sent by a mission to the Republic and when it returns to that mission, (b) what measures are in place to ensure that if a diplomatic bag does not fill up, it is sent after a maximum time period to avoid indefinite delays in receiving Home Affairs documentation applied for at a foreign mission and (c) what tracking mechanismis in place between the period when Home Affairs delivers documents to her department and when they are delivered to a South African mission abroad; 2. By what date will the passport of Tama Leigh Guthrie (ID: 9407060225081) that was delivered by Home Affairs to her department on 15 June 2020 arrive at the South African Embassy in Beijing China?

Reply:

1. (a)The average return period for diplomatic bag sent by a Mission to the Republic and when it returns to that mission vary between seven (7) to fourteen (14) days during normal periods. During the Covid-19 lockdown, it takes more time depending on the country of origin, availability of flights and other contingencies.

(b) The Department sends diplomatic freight bags to Missions everyday from Monday to Friday by following a schedule as part of the measures to ensure a diplomatic bag does not fill up. In terms of this schedule, diplomatic freight bags are sent to some missions fortnightly and weekly to other missions categorised as big and busier. For incoming diplomatic freight bags, Missions are required to send diplomatic freight bags at least once-a-month. Missions, however,were informed through a general circular dated 03 July 2019 that they could send a diplomatic freight bag to Head Office more than once-a-month where there is a need and the volume of mail items justifies so.

(c) The courier company has a real-time track and trace system and regularly provides the Department with the status and proof of delivery. In addition, the Department has its tracking mechanism.

2. The date of delivery of Tama Leigh Guthrie’s passport cannot be determined. The Department can only confirm that the last diplomatic bag to the South African Mission in Beijing was sent on 18 June, and the next batch of diplomatic bags to Missions will be sent on 23 July 2020.

13 August 2020 - NW1568

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether she has engaged with her counterparts in Mozambique in relation to the upsurge in terrorist attack in the specified country; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) What (a) forms of assistance have they asked from the Republic and (b) kind of support will the Republic provide? NW1944E

Reply:

1. Yes. The two Governments have discussed the developments in Cabo Delgado. So far, our deliberations have been on receiving briefing from our Mozambican counterparts so that we can establish deeper understanding of the developments.

2. (a) and (b) The Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation plus Mozambique of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held on 19 May 2020 urged member SADC member states to support the Government of Mozambique in fighting against the terrorist and armed groups in some districts of the country. Regarding the assistance and support, South Africa will align herself with the support that will be provided by the region as outlined by the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation plus Mozambique held on 19 May 2020. The support will be in accordance with Mozambique’s needs assessment report, which will be provided to SADC.

13 July 2020 - NW1409

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1) (a) What are the reasons that the consular services is not available to South African citizens for other legal purposes, as the website of her department indicates that legalisation of documents for economic puposes will be made availableunder Covid-19 lockdown alert level 4, while the Republic is currently under alert level 3 of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 and(b) by what date will this necessary service be available; (2) Whether sanitisation measures have been put in place; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details’? NW1780E

Reply:

  1. (a) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation adheres to its consular services mandate to serve the Public in terms of legalisation of documents which entails Authentications, Apostilles and End User Certificates for various objectives.

    (b)  The Department is currently serving the Public accordingly during alert Level three (3) of National Lockdown.

2. Yes, the sanitisation measures have been put in place which include ensuring adherence to the following Government COVID19 pandemic regulations:

  • Temperature scanners have been installed
  • Hand satizers have been installed in all entrances to the building and inside the building public use places
  • Movable hand sanitizers available in public place to support frontline staff and the Public.
  • Counter window shields have been installed to secure frontline staff and the Public.
  • Masks heve been and continue to be made available for use by frontline and essential staff during the various levels of lockdown.
  • Signs indicating various safety measures in line with the Covid-19 regulations are put in all public places in and around the O.R Tambo Building these include regular washing of hands,social distancing and wearing masks

23 June 2020 - NW1003

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

1.(a) What total number of persons were repatriated from other African countries during the period of lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 and (b)(i) at which quarantine sites were the specified persons placed and (ii) why were they placed at the specified quarantined sites; 2.Whether there were any persons that her department had identified, but was unable to repatriate; if so, (a) what total number of persons, (b) from which countries and (c) what were the reasons for her department’s decision not to repatriate such persons

Reply:

1. (a) The total number of persons repatriated from other African countries during the period of lockdown by air is 1966, and those through land borders can be best provided by the Department of Home Affairs.

(b) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is not responsible for allocating quarantine sites. The Department of the Public Works may be in a better position to respond to questions related to quarantine sites.

2. No

a) Not applicable

b) Not applicable

c) Not applicable

19 June 2020 - NW1158

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Mulder, Dr CP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department purchased any goods and/ or services below the amount of R500 000 connected to the Covid – 19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) is the name of each company from which the specified goods and / or services were purchased, (b) is the amount of each transaction and (c) was the service and / or product that each company rendered; (2) Whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the specified transactions; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) What were the reasons that the goods and / or services were purchased from the specified companies; (4) Whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. Yes, the Department did procurement for goods and services below the amount of R 500 000.00 in connection to the Covid- 19 pandemic.

The table below provides replies to questions 1 a, b and c, 2 and 3.

 

  1. 1(a). Name of the Business
 
  1. (b)Amount

 

1.(c)Goods Purchased

2. Deviation (Yes/No)

1.1

Lechoba Medical Technologies

R121 502.10

Hand Sanitizers

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.2

NJU Projects & General Trading

R 63 000.00

Body Temperature Thermal Cameras

No

To screen the employees when entering the building

1.3

Flamingo Moon trading

R 23 460.00

Face Masks

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.4

Esizwe Group

R 5 088.00

Comfort Face Shields

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.5

Fortistle

R 48 875.00

Face Masks

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.6

Promed Technologies

R 13 570.00

Gloves

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.7

Ayanda Multiserve

R 22 500.00

Comfort Face Shields

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

1.7

Yellotec

R 2 591.88

Body Temperature Thermal Cameras

No

To screen the employees when entering the building

1.9

Motlokwa & Farm Holdings

R 1 100.00

Spray Bottles (empty)

No

To fill Disinfection Chemical

1.10

Multisurge

R 13 800.00

Disinfection Chemical

No

To protect the employees against virus infection

(4) No

29 May 2020 - NW924

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Mulder, Dr CP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department awarded any tenders connected to the Covid- 19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the names of the businesses to whom these tenders were awarded, (b) are the amounts of each tender awarded and (c) was the service and/ or product to be supplied by each business; 2. Whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the awarding of tenders ; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; 3. What was the reason for which each specified business was awarded the specified tender; 4. Whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. There were no tenders awarded connected to the Covid- 19 pandemic.

(a) None

(b) None

(c) None

(2) Not applicable

(3) Not applicable

(4) Not applicable

21 May 2020 - NW807

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What (a) interventions and plans does the Government have with the (i) Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and (ii) continental African Union governments to mitigate against the overburdening of the healthcare system of the Republic in the event of astronomical Covid – 19 transmissions and (b) are the relevant details of the assistance that the Republic is providing to the (i) SADC region and (ii) African continent to deal with the Covid – 19 pandemic? NW 1010E

Reply:

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) recorded its first case of COVID-19 in early March. As of 18 May, 2020 all the sixteen (16) SADC Member States have been affected by COVID-19.

In this regard, South Africa continues to share information aimed at slowing down the transmission and thus reducing mortality associated with COVID-19, with the ultimate aim of reaching and maintaining a state of low-level or no transmission.

Some of the short term measures that have been collectively undertaken by SADC Member States, include, but are not limited to:

a) facilitate the protection of frontline healthcare staff through the provision of protective equipment and promotion of best practices across the region’s healthcare facilities;

b) provide the necessary tools and equipment to support SADC Member States’ health care facilities with intensive care and ventilation needs for COVID-19 patients;

c) conduct needs assessment including existing human, financial and material resources; to promote awareness through the provision of information materials, guidelines and information kits; and

d) extend safety nets in form of food handouts, unemployment benefits and water and sanitation facilities.

In the medium term, the region will:

a) assess the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and develop a recovery plan; and

b) assess the effectiveness of existing frameworks and mechanisms for dealing with crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and propose ways of improving them.

This is based on principles of solidarity, reciprocity, and the common good.

African Union (AU)

Since the Outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thus far resulted in over 300 000 deaths globally, with close to 3000 deaths in the Continent, President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union for 2020 has expressed in several platforms, to voice concern about the devastating impact of the pandemic in the Continent and has underscored that the fight against the pandemic will require a coordinated and collaborative approach amongst Member States.

The Bureau of the AU, under the leadership of President Ramaphosa has also undertaken the following interventions which are aimed at 1) ensuring that the spread of COVID-19 is contained and 2) ensure that the are measures in place to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

On 26 March 2020 President convened teleconference meeting of the Bureau of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union to discuss AU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, ahead of the G-20 virtual Summit held on 27 March 2020.The first Bureau meeting was followed by another teleconference meeting held on 3 April 2020. Both meetings discussed the impact of the COVID-19 virus in the Continent and agreed to establish a joint Continental strategy in response to COVID-19 as well as, the COVID-19 Response Fund. The meeting also agreed to mobilise support for the comprehensive economic stimulus package which will held to mitigate the economic risks that will affect the Continent as result of the virus. The meeting further express support for the waiver of debt and interest repayment in order to provide the African countries the fiscus space to deal effectively with the virus.

On 12 April 2020, the President Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Chair of the AU, appointed Special Envoys whose responsibility will be to reach out to the G-20 and the EU to solicit rapid and concrete assistance to help Africa in dealing with the scourge.In line with the decisions of the Bureau meeting held on 3 April 2020, the Bureau of the AU met with the Business Leader’s Forum of the African Union. During the the meeting the business leaders expressed support for the AU’s Continental strategy to combat the COVID-19 virus.

The Bureau of the AU met with chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to discuss collaborative efforts between the AU and RECs in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on 29 April 2020. In addition, President Ramaphosa held numerous consultations with other world leaders, including the EU, the G-20 countries. The President also held discussions with leading organisations in the development space such as the World Bank Group, galvanising support for Africa’s and AU’s efforts to tackle the impact of the virus.

A virtual conference of the AU Bureau under the leadership and the Chairship of South Africa was held to look at ways and means to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, while also looking and gaging the needed support to the existing mechanisms of the Union to fight pandemics like this. President Ramaphosa made the following pledges which have been fulfilled by South Africa:

(a) Special Fund for COVID 19: R 71 200 000 towards the establishment of the COVID 19 Fund for Africa

(b)  Africa Centre for Disease Control:   R 35 600 000 to assist in the emergency response in the health care systems for AU member states

21 May 2020 - NW874

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department will offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; 2. Whether the Covid-19 financial or other relief will only be allocated to qualifying small business according to the Broad – Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, Act 53 of 2003, as amended ; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so (a) on what statutory grounds and / or provisions does she or her department rely to allocate Covid-19 financial or other relief, if any, will be made available to other small businesses? NW 1081E

Reply:

1. No, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation will not offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses. It is not within the mandate of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small business.

2. No, there will be no financial or other relief to be allocated. It is not within the mandate of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small business.

 

21 May 2020 - NW808

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether the Republic has recorded any positive cases  of Covid – 19 in any of its foreign missions; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? (2) Whether any foreign mission officials and staff have been repatriated because of Covid-19 circumstances and / or directives; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW 1011E

Reply:

1. Yes, the Republic has recorded positive cases  of Covid-19 in its foreign missions. There are two positive cases of transferred officials as well as two of locally recruited personnel.

2. No.

06 May 2020 - NW615

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Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether she intends to intervene and engage the Government of the People’s Republic of China on allegations of racism by persons and businesses of China that target Africans in relation to the spread of coronavirus; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has engaged the Embassy of China and expressed grave concern over allegations of racism targeted at Africans in China during the current COVID-19 outbreak. It was made clear that South Africa abhors racism, prejudice and discrimination, and rejects any treatment of a person in a negative way because of their colour. The South African Government views this alleged mistreatment of African Nationals in China as Top of Forman infringement on the rights to dignity, equality and other rights of Africans. Our Embassy in Beijing has also sent a Note Verbale to the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressing similar concerns as South African diplomats have also been targeted in alleged racism incidents.

During the BRICS Virtual Foreign Minister’s Meeting on the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on 28 April, I stated that “South Africa strongly condemns any stigmatization or discrimination of States, peoples or individuals in connection with COVID-19” and stressed “that there is no place for racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic…”

As this is a broader issue that affects all Africans, the AU Commission Chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat called-in the Chinese Ambassador in Addis Ababa to provide an explanation, and express the AU’s deep concern about this matter. The Chinese authorities have given assurances that it is not China’s policy to discriminate against African nationals.

South Africa urged the relevant Chinese authorities to investigate the reports and take appropriate remedial measures. The African Group of Ambassadors in Beijing was also encouraged to continue engaging the Chinese authorities to ensure that Africans are not subjected to any ill-treatment, and are treated equally, with respect and with dignity like all other nationals in China.

We are positive that this matter will be resolved amicably given the strong historical ties of friendship and mutual respect between Africa and China.

06 May 2020 - NW590

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Madlingozi, Mr BS to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department will assist with regard to the repatriation of students and other South Africans in Turkey who are stuck due to the COVID- 19 pandemic?

Reply:

DIRCO had a discussion with the Turkish Embassy in South Africa on 11 April 2020, which intervened and confirmed that the students may remain in the dormitories of the University (Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi Asariye). The Turkish Embassy further confirmed that the University agreed to provide food and all other requirements for the full period until at least end of May.

DIRCO negotiated with South African Airways (SAA) to utilise SAA’s charter flights to London and Frankfurt to repatriate South Africans to South Africa. Only South Africans who were able to travel to Frankfurt could be repatriated. South Africans in Turkey were unable to fly to Frankfurt due to the lockdown in Turkey and could therefore not be repatriated on these charter flights. We continue to seek solutions to the challenges posed by travel restrictions.

16 March 2020 - NW59

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1) (a) Why does the South African property in Avenue Marquis de villalobar, Brussels, need a generator, (b) on what date did the generator start running , (c) what amount does it cost per week to run the generator and (d) by what date will electricity be restored to the specified property; (2) Whether her department has received any complaints from any departmental official in Brussels in this regard? NW63E

Reply:

(1) (a) The high tension electrical distribution board (isolation box), which is part of the property and located at the main gate, disintegrated. This was allegedly caused by an explosion inside the isolation box which resulted in the whole electric supply system to the house being damaged beyond repair. The generator was required to ensure that the residence has electricity until all the processes were concluded for the repair.

(b) the generator started running on 23 June 2019.

(c) The estimated cost to run the generator is 1200 Euros in total per week.

(d) The electricity was restored on 17 February 2020.

(2) Yes, a complaint was received from the departmental official who resides in the house.

16 March 2020 - NW151

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

In view of the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe and the recent efforts by the former President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, to initiate a political dialogue among Zimbabwe’s political actors, what steps have been taken by her department to (a) encourage a formal political dialogue in Zimbabwe and (b) stop the continued abuse of human rights by the Zimbabwean government?

Reply:

a) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation uses the existing bilateral engagements with Zimbabwe to discuss all matters including political, economic and security situation in the country. Examples of such platforms are: the Binational Commission (BNC) held in Harare, Zimbabwe in March 2019; the BNC Mid-Term Review meeting hosted by South Africa on 18 November 2019; including the Symposium convened by the Minister at UNISA on 18 November 2019, where the importance of an inclusive political dialogue in Zimbabwe was underscored as part of wider solutions to solve the challenges faced by the country. The Minister is also scheduled to meet with Zimbabwe’s Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) on 2 April 2020.

b) Promotion and Protection of Human Rights remain central to South Africa’s foreign policy and this informs South Africa’s bilateral engagements with all countries.

02 March 2020 - NW60

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Chetty, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What (a) is the average expenditure per annum within our foreign missions and (b)(i) are the top 10 most expensive foreign missions and (ii) are their annual costs to her department? (2) Since 2013, when last did the Government Technical Advisory Centre of National Treasury do a costing exercise for her department on foreign missions? NW64E

Reply:

1. (a) The average expenditure per annum for South African foreign missions is R28.231 million.

    (b) (i) The top 10 most expensive foreign missions and (ii) their annual costs to the department are as follows:

No.

  1. Top 10 most expensive foreign missions
  1. Annual costs to the department

 

 

R'000

1

GENEVA

102,815

2

LONDON

94,601

3

BRUSSELS

88,458

4

NEW YORK(CG)

79,902

5

NEW YORK(UN)

79,009

6

WASHINGTON DC

76,078

7

BEIJING

73,461

8

VIENNA

67,727

9

PARIS

66,098

10

LUANDA

65,337

2. Costing exercise for foreign missions by Government Technical Advisory Centre of National Treasury was last done in 2013.

02 March 2020 - NW61

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Chetty, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What number of ambassadors were appointed in 2019, (b) what are their names and (c) where were they posted to in each case?

Reply:

The question should be directed to the Presidency given the responsibility of that Office.

24 February 2020 - NW58

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What suggestions were put forward by the Government at the 18th Summit of the Non – Aligned Movement in October to reform the International Criminal Court

Reply:

The 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 25-26 October 2019 under the theme: “NAM Baku Summit: Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world.”

The South African Government did not put forward suggestions at the 18th Summit of the NAM on the reform of the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the NAM Heads of State and Government adopted the Baku Final Outcome Document of the 18th Summit of the NAM (NAM 2019/CoB/Doc.1) which included the Movement’s principled positions concerning international law, and in particular the mandate of the ICC as contained in the Rome Statute, as follows:

28.13. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) shall continue to preserve the integrity of the Statute and ensure that the ICC remains impartial and fully independent of political organs of the UN, which should not instruct nor impede the functions of the ICC, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute;

28.14. The Heads of State and Government expressed strong concern on the abuse of certain provisions of the Rome Statute by the Security Council, including its practice to purport to selectively limit the jurisdiction of the ICC when referring matters to the ICC and noted that the practice amounts to an abuse of the powers of the Security Council to refer matters to the ICC.

28.15. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC recalled the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, which was held in Kampala, Uganda, from 31 May to 11 June 2010, at which States parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Rome Statute and adopted amendments to the Statute to define the crime of aggression and to establish conditions under which the Court could exercise jurisdiction with respect to that crime;

28.16. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC continued to underscore the necessity of the independence of the ICC, in accordance with its judicial nature. They stated that the Security Council's responsibilities under the Charter of the UN should not limit the role of the Court as a judicial body. The Court should be empowered to pronounce on acts of aggression independently.

28.17. The Non-Aligned State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC oppose all actions, in particular through the Security Council, aimed at establishing a process to grant immunity to the staff members of UN peacekeeping operations, which violate the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC and damage the credibility and independence of the ICC.”

The Baku Final Outcome Document was adopted by all NAM member states including South Africa.

The South African Government’s participation at the 18th Summit of the NAM was guided by the theme, as well as its four strategic foreign policy pillars, namely:

  1. advancing national interest to attain domestic objectives;
  2. enhancing the African Agenda and promoting Africa’s sustainable development;
  3. influencing a reformed global multilateral architecture; and
  4. advancing the agenda of the South through strengthening South-South Cooperation and North-South Dialogue.

09 December 2019 - NW1522

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department entered into a rental agreement for a residence in Los Angeles in 2019; if so, why; (2) Whether the person residing in the residence is an employee of her department; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in what capacity; (3) Does the specified official earn a salary and/or allowance; (4) What total number of days has the specified employee been at work this year?

Reply:

(1) The Department signed one residential lease agreement in 2019, for the accommodation of the Consul: Political. In the same period, the Department terminated one residential lease agreement prematurely, namely for the Head of Mission, following the termination of services.

(2) No employee resided in the Residence after 26 July 2019.

(3) No, the specified official is not earning a salary/allowance.

(4) 10 days.

06 December 2019 - NW1398

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Chetty, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperatives

Whether, with reference to the New York Project (NYPP) and the alleged contradicting reports by officials, she can indicate (a) if the agreement on the NYPP in any way entails an agreement between her department and a Gupta – subsidiary company, (b) what total amount has her department paid to date in respect of the project and (c) what will be the penalties if her department cancelled the agreement. NW2612E

Reply:

a) No, the agreement is between the Department and Simeka Group (Pty) Ltd and Regiments Capital (Pty) Ltd. The appointed companies incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle in terms of the Companies Act, viz Lemascene (Pty) Ltd and the Department concluded a Project Preparation Agreement with Lemascene (Pty) Ltd

b) The amount paid spent USD 9 million (R 117 million).

c) The penalties are not yet determined as the matterr is before the courts, wherein Lemascene (Pty) Ltd filed summons against the Department on claiming that it has breached the agreement. In terms of the summons Lemascene seeks the following relief:

  • Specific performance - in that the Department be directed to honour its obligations in terms of the provisions contained in the Project Preparation Agreement and tender award; or
  • Payment of damages in the total amount of R598 606 379.82 plus interest thereon at a rate of 15,5% per annum for loss of profits and out of pocket costs.

05 December 2019 - NW1397

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Chetty, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department hosted an event in celebration of Africa Day on 12 May 2019; if not, why not; f so, (a) where was the specified event hosted, (b) why was the particular venue selected to host the event, (c) what was the total cost for hosting the event and (d) which African countries’ ambassadors and/ or Heads of State (i) were invited to attend and (ii) attended the event? NW2611E

Reply:

South Africa as a member of the African Union commemorates Africa Day annually, however this year, the Department was unable to host the Africa Day event as it coincided with the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa on 25 May 2019.

03 December 2019 - NW1612

Profile picture: Bergman, Mr D

Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether the Cabinet discussed the withdrawal of the Republic from the (a) Commonwealth and /or (b) International Criminal Court since 1 June 2019; if so, in each case, what are the (a) relevant details and (b) details of the outcome of the discussion?

Reply:

(A) Commonwealth

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is not aware that Cabinet has discussed South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Since its return to the Commonwealth in 1994, South Africa has participated in summits, ministerial meetings and the governing bodies of the Commonwealth and worked closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat, contributing politically, financially, and in terms of capacity and expertise to the work of the Organisation. The work of the Commonwealth is in line with South Africa’s foreign policy commitments to human rights, democracy, good governance, justice and international law, peace, economic development, multilateralism, and promoting the African Agenda. For South Africa, the Commonwealth provides a platform to forge common approaches to these matters of global importance, and to promote trade, investment and the exchange of skills and knowledge between countries. In this regard, South Africa has worked together with fellow Commonwealth member countries to promote the value, relevance and effectiveness of the association.

(B) International Criminal Court

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is not aware that Cabinet has discussed the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 1 June 2019. This matter falls under the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

26 November 2019 - NW1521

Profile picture: Bergman, Mr D

Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department has organised a mid – term conference in Dubai; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) total number of mission’s will be attending and (b) is the total projected cost of the conference; (2) How have mid – term reviews in the Dubai region been handled historically?

Reply:

1. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation organised a mid – term review in Dubai, (a) thirty(30) missions attended the mid – term review in Dubai and (b) total projected cost for the review meeting is R 1, 566, 367.00

2. Mid – term reviews are conducted annually and are held in countries that are central and easily accessible for the region.

19 November 2019 - NW1470

Profile picture: Cuthbert, Mr MJ

Cuthbert, Mr MJ to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

1) What is the Government ‘s position on the economic sanctions placed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America and the Europian Union; (2) Whether the Government supporst a human rights – based foreign policy; if not, why not; if so, (3) Whether the government stands in solidarity with Government of Zimbabwe, despite Zimbabwe’s alleged human rights abuses; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

  1. Our stance toward Zimbabwe’s economic sanctions is primarly guided by the position of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as the African Union (AU) position which calls for immediate lifting of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America and the European Union.
  2. South Africa’s foreign policy is premised on the observation and respect for human rights and this also guides our bilateral engagements.
  3. South Africa’s developmental aspirations and future are inextricably linked to that of the Southern African region, as such South Africa unequivocally stand in solidarity with all SADC member states including Zimbabwe. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) remains the United Nation’s mandated body to promote and protect human rights globally, not unilateral state’s decisions.

 

 

06 November 2019 - NW1367

Profile picture: Cachalia, Mr G K

Cachalia, Mr G K to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department did business with certain (a) persons , (b) companies and (c) trust( Tony Georgiades, David Ngobeni, Kojo Mills, Paul Ekon, Trevor Pikwane, Chistian Gouws, Eugene Clause Bezuidenhout, Gerhard Jo Van Niekerk, Casper Van Den Burg, Martyn John Churchouse,Lesiba Edmond Sekele, Florin Mircea Cozmuta, Cedric John Bredenkamp, Paul Anthony Mckay, Yi He, Maureen Ann Azvardel, David Rajah, Paul Staveley Howard, Frederick Johannes Wessels, Lawrence Delville Hood, Christopher David Thatcher, Gavin Treanor, Alan Menachemson, Richard Dan Hallam, Michael Casparis Maree, Lloyd Charles Jaffee, Andre Jeremias Esias Bezuidenhout, Mick davis, Eric Samson, Dr james Motlatsi (ii) Ria Tenda Trust, Linked Environmental Trust, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation Trust, Free State Diamond Mines, Adsani Exploration, Reva Trading, CTL Management and Personnel Services)) (i) in each of the past five financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2019; if so , (aa) on what date(s) did her department do business with the specified persons, companies and trusts and (bb) what was the (aaa) nature and (bbb) monetary value of each business arrangement?

Reply:

(a) Persons

None

(b) Companies

None

(c) Trust

None

(i) The past five financial years

None

(ii) Since 1 April 2019

None

(aa) Dates, persons, companies and trusts

None

(bb) Nature

None

(bbb) Monetary value

Monetary value: R 0

04 November 2019 - NW558

Profile picture: Bergman, Mr D

Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1) With regard to the matter between the South African Ambassador to the United Nations and employee that was fired a year ago, (a) on what grounds was the employee first dismissed and (b) was the dismissal within the jurisdiction of Switzerland or South Africa; (2) was the Ambassador ordered to reinstate the employee; if so, (a) by who and (b) on what basis; (3) has the reinstatement taken place; if not, when will the employee be reemployed? NW 1555E

Reply:

1(a) There were no grounds for dismissal

(b) South Africa, as the employing country

2(a) Yes, by the Director-General

(b) On the basis that the dismissal was found to be both procedurally and substantively unfair

3(a) Not yet

(b) The date of reemployment has not been finalised