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New Foreign Service Bill Rejected By Treasury

Treasury has warned that the new legislation would create a parallel public service regime for international relations employees.

30/03/2017 07:54 SAST | Updated 30/03/2017 08:05 SAST
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South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

A new piece of legislation designed to take employees of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation out of the public servants framework has been rejected by National Treasury and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu).

Business Day reported on Wednesday that Treasury and the union said the bill was inconsistent with the Public Finance Management Act.

According to the report, the bill will give the minister of international relations control over the country's foreign assets, as well as the power to purchase, rent or get rid of them. The bill also allows for the establishment of a diplomatic academy.

Treasury's director of fiscal and intergovernmental legislation Ailwei Mulaudzi reportedly told MPs on Wednesday that foreign service members were subject to sector-specific laws or the Public Service Act, and that the mooted bill would effectively create a parallel public service regime.

According to Business Day, he also warned that the "lack of binding prescripts on fiscal prudence" could open the department up to fiscal risks.