U.K. Blames South Africa ‘Confusion’ for Aid Dispute

Foreign Secretary William Hague said “confusion” on the part of the South African government was at the heart of a dispute over U.K. plans to end 19 million pounds ($30 million) a year of aid to Africa’s largest economy in 2015.

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement on its website yesterday that the move is “tantamount to redefining our relationship” and the U.K. should have “allowed proper consultations to take place.” British International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced the end to direct aid the same day.

Hague said today that the U.K. would address any “bureaucratic confusion” over the decision, though it should not have been a surprise to the South African government.

“Britain has helped to improve matters in South Africa, but we don’t continue to give aid to countries that are raising their incomes, that have growing economies,” Hague told the BBC’s “Today” radio program. “No doubt there is some confusion or bureaucratic confusion about that perhaps, on the South African side, but I’m not going to fling accusations about that.”

He said that the two governments will meet in the near future and any confusion will be cleared up then.

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