UK set to end direct aid to SA - report

2013-04-30 09:20

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London - The British government is reportedly planning to stop giving direct aid to South Africa from 2015, according to a report on Tuesday.

The BBC reported that British international development secretary Justine Greening will announce that the UK's relationship with South Africa should now be based on trade and not development.

The British government's aid programme to South Africa is currently worth £19m (R264m) a year. At its peak in 2003, British aid amounted to more than £40m (R556m).

Most of this funding is focused on reducing the mortality rate among women giving birth, and supporting businesses.

Greening is set to make the announcement about South African funding at a conference of African ministers and business leaders in London on Tuesday.

She will reportedly argue that South Africa is now a regional economic powerhouse and Britain's biggest trading partner in Africa, and that South Africa is able to fund its own development.

Britain's Daily Mail reported late last year that the British government was examining how it spends its aid budget, and was also planning to slash the controversial £280m (R3.9bn) it spent on aid to India. The Daily Mail pointed out that the £19m aid budget was close to what was spent on President Jacob Zuma's controversial Nkandla development.

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