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Gordhan: I did not agree with UK aid cut

May 02 2013 20:40

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he did not agree with Britain's decision to cut aid to South Africa.

"At no stage did I agree with Britain's decision," he said in a statement on Thursday night.

This was in response to a report by the Times of London which quoted current secretary for International Development, Justine Greening, as saying: "I have agreed with my South African counterparts that South Africa is now in a position to fund its own development."

Gordhan said he was surprised to read this.

"At no stage did I agree with Britain's decision to cut aid as claimed by Ms Greening when she spoke at the Times CEO summit and at a subsequent media conference."

He said the facts surrounding the decision by the British government had been misrepresented and "deliberately distorted".

United Kingdom authorities announced on Tuesday that direct aid to South Africa would end by 2015.

The international relations department said the decision should have been communicated through official diplomatic channels.

Gordhan said South Africa had for years had a special relationship with the people of Britain.

"During the apartheid era, the people of Britain opened their hearts and their purses to assist in the anti-apartheid struggle," he said.

"The manner in which the current British administration has chosen to end its financial aid to South Africa is therefore, regrettable."

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pravin godhan  |  britain  |  south africa  |  aid


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