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DA: DTI needs policy overhaul

The department of trade and industry needs a policy overhaul to prevent sanctions busting by South African companies, the DA said on Sunday.

The questions of letters of support issued by officials to companies trying to sell equipment abroad made the DTI vulnerable to corruption, said Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

The DTI should be obliged to notify the National Conventional Arms Control Committee of the export of any suspected “dual use goods” to countries under sanctions, he said.

The Sunday Times reported that government officials had “placed South Africa at risk” of breaking United Nations sanctions.

An audit report found this had occurred when officials issued letters of support to a company trying to sell helicopters to Iran.

Irregularities were found in how the DTI letters were issued. The report recommended disciplinary action against the officials involved.

The DTI said in March that it was investigating the provision of these letters of support.

In a statement on Sunday, Maynier said the DA would write a letter to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to extend the investigation into letters of support provided to private companies between 2009 and 2012.

The DA would also ask the DTI to develop a policy on how it monitors deals with countries under sanctions, especially arms embargoes by the United Nations. - Sapa

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