SA Spends R16m A Year On Diplomats’ Kids School Fees In New York


Reports say that Raymond Nyembe and Mmalebone Mmekoe filed papers in the Pretoria high court after the Department of International Relations cut the financial support it renders for school fees in order to save money for the country. Both Nyembe and Mmekoe serve the country as part of South Africa’s United Nations mission.

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According to court papers, “34 children of 17 officials in New York City cost South African taxpayers just over $1 million (±R16 million) a year”. This means that SA spends R16m every year just on the fees of diplomats kids in America and this money is derived from taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet”.

Meanwhile, Nyembe expressed his mind that “sudden cuts” happened without consultation with the diplomats and are “not only unfair, but contrary to the already existing budget of the mission.”

“We have been transferred to this mission with the knowledge that we have children and such children should have a right to basic education,” Nyembe said, adding that he’s had to remove his kids from school.

There were reports that the diplomats refused to send their kids to free public schools in New York city, with the excuse being that the public schools over there are “not well-equipped to accommodate children from other countries” and that “gangs, drugs, and prostitution” were common in the public schools.

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The CFO of the Department of International Relations Caliphus Ramashau, went on record saying that it was a mistake “from the beginning to pay school fees for diplomats in English-speaking countries.” He added that “There is nothing preventing an official from sending her child to a private school if she is willing to pay for such school”.

It is really bad that SA spends R16m on such an issue that does not really have any impact in the growth of the country. Besides, why should those kids go to private schools that are so expensive?