News / Africa

South Africa Surprised By UK Decision to End Aid

British politician Justine Greening leaves No. 10 Downing Street in central London on Sept. 4, 2012.British politician Justine Greening leaves No. 10 Downing Street in central London on Sept. 4, 2012.
x
British politician Justine Greening leaves No. 10 Downing Street in central London on Sept. 4, 2012.
British politician Justine Greening leaves No. 10 Downing Street in central London on Sept. 4, 2012.
Anita Powell
The United Kingdom’s announcement Tuesday that it would stop all direct aid to South Africa by 2015 has provoked consternation and confusion in Pretoria.  An official in the foreign ministry says South Africa was not told in advance of the decision, and that the move could “redefine” the two nations’ relationship. 
 
British International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Tuesday that the U.K. is ending direct aid to South Africa, worth about $29 million per year. 
Greening said she had consulted with South African officials ahead of the decision and that they had agreed that “South Africa is now in a position to fund its own development.”
 
However, in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, officials said they were taken by surprise. 
 
Foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela suggested the decision could have a major impact on British-South African relations.
 
“The South African government has noted with regret this unilateral announcement by the government of the United Kingdom regarding the termination of the official development of aid to South Africa.  It’s a major move with far-reaching implications, particularly on the projects that are currently running, and and it is tantamount to redefining our relationship," he said. 
 
Monyela did not say what that new relationship might entail.  The two countries cooperate on a variety of issues and across a variety of platforms, diplomatically and otherwise. 
 
South Africa is Britain’s largest trading partner in Africa.  And both countries are home to a significant number of citizens from the other country. 
 
South African officials like to tout their nation’s status as a rising economic powerhouse.  The country recently became the newest member of BRICS, a group of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.  
 
South Africa is also the biggest economy in Africa and is home to a growing black middle class. 
 
But despite those achievements, foreign ministry spokesman Monyela made it clear South Africa is not pleased with the suddenness of Britain's announcement.
 
“Inasmuch as we appreciate how we are being viewed by the world, including the U.K., that we are a growing economy, influential, a member of BRICS and  therefore carry and wield some influence in global affairs - inasmuch as we appreciate all of those things, the key issue we are raising is that there shouldn’t be a space for unilateral decisions and announcements within the framework of the U.K.-S.A. bilateral forum.  Things must be discussed, there should be consultation and modalities agreed to," said Monyela. 
 
For now, Monyela said, the government will have to figure out how to continue funding some of the rural development projects the United Kingdom had taken on. 
 
The U.K.'s Greening said that after British aid stops in 2015, the two nations will focus on trade. 

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Justin Goldsmith
May 01, 2013 1:38 PM
How does the UK generate such wealth that it can afford to give away $29 Million since 1994? It would be interesting the total amount of grant money to Africa and who the recipients are.

by: Adrian Hanekom
April 30, 2013 3:57 PM
After Zuma spent the last batch of foreign aid on his mansion I don't really think there should be any confusion.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs