Social Development Dept paid for Dlamini’s Ethiopia trip

The confirmation comes amid a storm that the minister missed a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting to discuss the payment of social grants.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Social Development has confirmed that it paid for Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s trip to Ethiopia in January, amid a storm that she was missing a crucial Parliamentary portfolio committee meeting to discuss the payment of social grants.

At the time, it was alleged that Dlamini was on African National Congress (ANC) party business as the head of the Women’s League.

Dlamini caused outrage in January when a meeting of Parliament’s social development portfolio committee was cancelled ostensibly for her to attend the ANC lekgotla.

But it later emerged that she had travelled to Addis Ababa where the ANC Women's League was launching a young women's desk.

In a written response to Parliament, the department says Dlamini was attending the 9th African Union Gender Pre-Summit, accompanied by a parliamentary officer and her chief director of communications.

The department has confirmed it paid for their transport, accommodation, flights and subsistence allowances.

The DA says it now wants to know how much of taxpayers’ money was spent, given that Dlamini might also have attended to Women's League business.