Still no payment for SA troops in Sudan

Sandu says SA troops have not been paid because UN planes carrying salaries are not allowed to land.

File picture of SA troops in a foreign country. Picture: Werner Beukes/Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Union (Sandu) confirmed to Eyewitness News at the weekend hundreds of South African Soldiers stationed in Sudan are stranded as they have not been paid essential daily allowances for nearly eight weeks.

South African troops stationed in the troubled country on a peacekeeping mission receive a monthly allowance by the United Nations (UN), but Sandu claimed the cash payments have not yet been made because planes are not being allowed to land and there are no ATM facilities in the region.

The allowances amount to $100 a fortnight and the money is used by soldiers for their day-to-day expenses.

Sandu's Pikkie Greeff said they've been inundated with complaints from members stationed in Sudan who haven't been paid for weeks.

"There's been some kind of problem that the UN has failed to sort out and seems incapable and unwilling to sort out. The planes that arrive to pay the South Africans are not allowed to land."

Greef said the soldiers are paid allowances in cash because there is no access to ATM machines and they desperately need the money.

"Some of the things they need to buy with this money is drinking water because there is no running water and there are no taps."

The South African troops have been station in Sudan for more than a year, but Greeff said the payment issue is recent and is yet to be explained.