- Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has spoken out about the R118 million used for a New York trip in 2019
- Minister Pandor referred to the payment for the non-existent land as an 'embarrassment' while speaking at the National Assembly
- Questions were put forward about the R118 million by both the Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said the money spent on accommodation and office space by her department on a trip to New York was an 'embarrassment'. The money was reportedly spent on land that did not exist.
Pandor was answering questions during a sitting of the National Assembly when she faced questions from Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) Thembi Msane and the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Mergan Chetty.
News24 previously reported that the money spent to house South African diplomats in New York in 2019 resulted in nothing as the piece of land simply did not exist. The trip to New York was a fact-finding mission.
Msane said there had to be political casualties due to the amount of money spent. Pandor responded in agreement with Msane, adding that they are in court to recover the R118 million spent.
According to EWN, Pandor stated that due to the fact that the money did not buy anything, they have investigations into the incident. Pandor added that there is a High Court application to recover the money but they are still awaiting the judgement
In other news, Briefly.co.za recently reported that Eskom will need a cash injection of R1 billion a week to service through 2021. The power utility has a debt burden of R480 billion which it simply cannot afford unless it has a minimum income to cover its financial obligations and operate.
On Wednesday morning, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) was presented with Eskom's 2020 financial results. Lockdown had helped ease the burden of power generation a bit but 2021 is expected to be a difficult year financially for Eskom according to Business Insider.
Eskom was able to improve its debt collection from defaulting municipalities, brought the limping Kusile Unit 2 online and was able to stabilise its coal stock. This was accomplished due to R48 billion in government bailouts.
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