Thursday, January 23, 2014

South Africa evaluates Namibia's drought priorities

Albertina Nakale in via New Era (Namibia): Delays in processing the N$100 million pledged by South African President Jacob Zuma in drought relief aid last November have been attributed to needs and priorities listed by the Namibian government, which the South African High Commission in Windhoek says "cannot be supported."

However, it has emerged that the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and relevant stakeholders are currently evaluating those needs and priorities with a view to structuring the package of assistance in order to give effect to president Zuma's pledge as soon as possible. The South African High Commission indicated the provision of technical aid and expertise with boreholes, provision of water tankers, the procurement of seed and food for feeding programmes listed by Namibia cannot be supported.

New Era reported exactly three months after Zuma pledged N$100 million in drought relief aid that the donation remains entangled in bureaucratic red tape. However, the South African High Commission denies that there is any bureaucratic red tape involved and that everything is moving accordingly. Regarding the latest developments on the pledge, Frans Kapofi, Secretary to Cabinet said the Namibian government is still awaiting the donation. "We are still waiting whatever will come from South Africa. The South African government has committed itself to support Namibia and it is a welcome commitment. We are waiting for such support and hopefully it will be forthcoming," Kapofi said on Monday.

On the contrary the South African High Commissioner to Namibia, His Excellency Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini yesterday said that since early December last year, the two governments have been in discussions to facilitate the package of assistance that is aligned to the current needs and priorities of the Namibian government's drought relief response plan....

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