National Treasury saves cost after Dirco cuts 10 diplomatic missions
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Cape Town – The National Treasury says the government has saved millions of rands after the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) cut its diplomatic missions in a cost-saving measure.
Opposition parties had for years questioned the number of missions South Africa has abroad.
But Dirco had recently begun a move to reduce its own diplomatic missions in other countries.
The Treasury said this exercise would realise savings for the department.
When he tabled the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said they would continue with fiscal consolidation and cutting wastage within the state.
In the MTBPS it showed the department reduced 10 missions abroad and saved R51 million.
This followed the decision of Cabinet last June to reduce the number of diplomatic missions abroad.
“In June 2020, Cabinet approved the closure of 10 diplomatic missions in the following cities: Bucharest (Romania), Chicago (United Stated), Helsinki (Finland), Holy See (the Vatican), Lima (Peru), Milan (Italy), Minsk (Belarus), Muscat (Oman), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) and Suva (Fiji). Six of these have already been closed, at a cost of R16.5 million, mainly in compensation of employees, with a saving of R51 million. Some officials have been moved to other missions. The remaining four missions will be closed by the end of 2021. These savings helped the department to reduce its shortfall on compensation, with savings on goods and services reallocated to fund other missions,” the statement said.