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Dirco notes with ‘disappointment’ foreign ambassadors’ joint memo on corruption

The embassies of the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland signed a memorandum stating concerns about obstacles to foreign investments such as constant changes in the regulatory framework for mining.

FILE: Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says its noted with disappointment the dispatching of a joint memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa's office by five world powers.

This comes after the embassies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland wrote to the presidency warning that Ramaphosa's international investment drive could fail should he not act against perpetrators of state capture, corruption and other crimes.

The countries signed a memorandum stating concerns about obstacles to foreign investments such as constant changes in the regulatory framework for mining.

Dirco says the communication should have been made through acceptable diplomatic practice.

“In terms of acceptable diplomatic practice, protocol and convention, diplomatic missions are expected to communicate to the receiving state by means of a note verbal [diplomatic note] conveyed through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

“All embassies, regional and international organisations accredited to South Africa are aware of this protocol and universal norm. South African diplomatic missions abroad consistently observe this protocol by directing official communication to the respective foreign ministries in the countries of accreditation,” Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said in a statement.

Dirco says all matters that have been raised by investors are being addressed by the respective clusters of our government.

"The South African government is intensifying its efforts to deepen and expand economic relations with a number of countries around the world, and is pleased with the enthusiastic response its efforts have yielded thus far. All matters that have been raised by investors are being addressed by the respective clusters of our government.

"We are satisfied that all the branches of our democratic state, including state agencies, are vigorously pursuing their respective mandates to address our current challenges."

The statement further adds that Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has instructed her department to demarche the concerned ambassadors to discuss their memorandum and to reiterate acceptable protocol in addressing such matters.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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