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WC Premier Helen Zille justifies costs of trip to Asia

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's recent nine-day trip to Singapore and Japan cost taxpayers around R1 million.

FILE: Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says her trip to Asia was well worth it.

Zille's recent nine-day trip to Singapore and Japan cost taxpayers around R1 million.

She was accompanied by her husband who was conducting research and a number of officials from her office.
The trip amounted to just more than R636,000 for travel and accommodation costs.

The premier's office has explained that direct business engagements were facilitated by investment arm Wesgro for half a million rand.

Zille says it was the first trip in eight years where she was accompanied by her husband. She says this is allowed.

“If you look at the average cost per person of that delegation, it is R127,000 each, all inclusive - travel, accomodation, food, transport, everything.

“If you look at the exchange rate between the Singapore dollar, Japanese yen and South African rand - especially around that time - you’ll see it is R127,000 average per person - for a long trip in very expensive cities where we learnt an enormous amount - is within the ball park.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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