Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor says South Africa should not turn away from Cuba when needed.
Pandor voted in parliament on her department’s budget on Thursday and said South Africa should do everything possible to help its partners.
For this fiscal year, the department has been allocated just over 6.6 billion rupees, up 1.3% from 2020/21.
“Our department needs a lot of resources to carry out the assigned work in 116 diplomatic missions in 102 countries in which our country has a mission,” Pandor said.
She said that while her department knows that South Africa is financially constrained, she cannot sit back and watch Cubans squander in poverty.
“We are receiving requests from various partners to alleviate the situation of extreme poverty and provide support in dealing with the consequences of natural disasters, we will continue to do our best to give everything we can,” said Pandor.
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“We are also ready to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Cuba, as we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight while their economy is stifled by illegal blockades and sanctions. The Cuban economy has been brought to its knees after 61 years of draconian US economic sanctions imposed against this poor island nation. It is a nation that has stood shoulder to shoulder with our fighters in the struggle for freedom, and we must help if we can. ”
Dirk outraged South Africans earlier this year after Deputy Minister Alvin Botes briefed the portfolio committee on international relations and cooperation on the country’s intentions to donate 50 rupees to Cuba.
This is when the country is struggling with food security issues amid sanctions imposed by the United States.
A donation of 50 million rupees to Cuba is one of the initiatives the country has taken to strengthen relations with other countries.
“I considered it important that the parliamentary committee be informed that we have committed ourselves to allocating Rs 50 million for special intervention purposes, as this concerns the Cuban people, who have faced food security problems due to sanctions against the Cuban people. The states of America, ”Botes told the committee at the time.
AfriForum has since sued Dirco in court, and in March received a temporary ban on stopping donations.
On Tuesday, the Pretoria High Court rejected permission to appeal Dirco’s application for a ban received by AfriForum, which prevents him from donating 50 million rupees to Cuba.