Lesotho to save at least R100k after SADC meeting held virtually

The country’s ministry of foreign affairs has shown how a meeting of at least 11 countries with the SADC secretariat in Botswana was streamed.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) logo. Picture: www.sadc.int

JOHANNESBURG - The coronavirus (COVID-19) has saved Lesotho at least R100,000 for one Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting as officials were forced to hold virtual meetings with the secretariat.

The country’s ministry of foreign affairs has shown how a meeting of at least 11 countries with the SADC secretariat in Botswana was streamed. This after the government halted all international travel for government and parastatal officials.

Lesotho officials are paid $200 per day to attend meetings in the region for at least three days – that’s a total of R27,000. Return flights from Lesotho to Botswana via Johannesburg are R11,000 per person – a total of R33,000.

Accommodation at a four-star hotel near the secretariat costs R5,000 per night - another R30,000 rand saving.

The estimated R100,000 saving for this one meeting alone could see citizens demand the use of alternative communication post the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have previously warned Lesotho about exorbitant costs of international travel.

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