SA slams UK decision to phase out aid

South Africa
Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela, has criticised Britain’s decision to stop direct aid to the country, saying that they have bypassed the proper diplomatic channels. eNCA
British Prime Minister David Cameron talks with South African President Jacob Zuma (R) as they attend a media conference in Pretoria in this handout picture, July 18, 2011. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa criticised Britain on Tuesday for a decision to phase out aid worth £19 million a year, saying it was "tantamount to redefining" the relationship between Africa's biggest economy and its top investor.

British International Development Secretary Justine Greening told an African business conference this week that UK aid would end by 2015 in favour of a "new relationship based on sharing skills and knowledge, not development funding".

However, the announcement triggered a heated reaction from Pretoria, which said it was kept in the dark about the decision.

"This unilateral announcement no doubt will affect how our bilateral relations going forward will be conducted," foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

Greening was quoted on the UK government website as saying she had agreed with her South African counterparts on the need for a shift in development policy.

Despite pressure on public finances, Britain's Conservative government has pledged to increase aid spending to 0.7% of GDP, although it has made clear it will cut assistance to wealthier emerging states to boost it for poorer ones.

Last year, it said it would stop financial aid to India by 2015 amid domestic anger at annual handouts of £280 million to Asia's third-largest economy while UK citizens were facing aggressive budget cuts.

Britain, South Africa's former colonial master, remains far and away its biggest investor, accounting for half of the country's R1 trillion of foreign direct investment stock, according to central bank figures.

However, London's annual aid package, which focuses on public health and improving regional customs systems, is a drop in the ocean for Pretoria, whose budget forecasts spending of nearly $120 billion this year.

-Reuters

COMMENTS

     

LATEST STORIES

The wreckage of an Air Algerie plane missing since early Thursday with 116 people on board has been found in Mali near the Burkina Faso border.
The Reiger Park community declares today 'Black Friday' in memory of 4-year-old Taegrin Morris, who was dragged to his death in a botched hijacking.
A blast has rocked a bus station in the north Nigerian city of Kano, witnesses said.

TOP STORIES view all

South Africa collected its first Commonwealth Games 2014 medal on Thursday.
The death toll soared to 777 on Thursday after an Israeli shell slammed into a UN-run school where hundreds of civilians had taken refuge.
Seventeen people, including 10 tourists from the US, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Switzerland were injured in a collision in Mpumalanga on Thursday.

NEWS STREAMcloseview all

This is the overlay

eNCA Subscriptions

Close