Cape Town - The Department of International Relations and Co-operation is saving hundreds of millions of rand after it closed 10 diplomatic missions across the world.
Minister Naledi Pandor said the process to close down these missions abroad started last year and would continue this year.
Opposition parties have over the years criticised the department for keeping a number of diplomatic missions overseas, saying it was not sustainable.
In a written reply in Parliament after questions by IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Pandor said that during the 2021/22 financial year they would save R71.7 million.
In the 2022/23 financial year the department would save R161.6m.
The diplomatic missions that have been shut down are in Trinidad and Tobago; Finland; Romania; The Vatican; Belarus; Fiji; Oman; the Consulate-General in Chicago, US; the Consulate-General in Milan, Italy; Fiji and Peru.
“The process of closure of these diplomatic missions included both political engagements with the host countries as well as official diplomatic communication, and facilitation of the change of diplomatic and civic, immigration and consular accreditation to new non-resident countries,” said Pandor.
“Formal requests for non-residential accreditation and concurrence were submitted to 25 countries and organisations, which all have their own internal processes and procedures pertaining to accreditation. The finalisation of non-residential accreditation of seven countries is still in process.”
Pandor had indicated a few years ago that some of the missions would be closed to minimise costs.