HC Deb 29 April 1998 vol 311 c320
9. Mr. Peter L. Pike (Burnley)

What aid is planned for 1998–99 for South Africa from the know-how fund. [39069]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. George Foulkes)

The know-how fund provides technical assistance to countries in transition. We provide similar support to South Africa to reduce poverty by helping to improve delivery of education, health, enterprise development, water and environmental services. We plan to spend £25 million on these activities in the current financial year.

Mr. Pike

It is exactly four years since polling in the first free election, which ended the apartheid era. The legacy of apartheid will take many years to remove. Will not the know-how fund play a crucial part in helping South Africa and its economy to deliver what we want for that country as we move forward to the new millennium?

Mr. Foulkes

Since the end of apartheid in South Africa, Britain has pledged £120 million of bilateral aid. In the current financial year, £22.5 million is to be spent, in addition to £100 million from the European Union, £15 million of which comes from the British taxpayer. That is a great contribution to ensuring that the transition from the apartheid regime to a democratic South Africa prosperous for all its people is carried out as smoothly and swiftly as possible.