The 24 Cuban engineers who have been hired by government to help fix South Africa’s water problems are expected to arrive in the country on Friday.  The Department of Water and Sanitation has confirmed that around R65-million will be spent on the engineers over the next two years.

The decision has been condemned by organisations such as AfriForum and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba who say there are enough locally trained and unemployed water engineers in the country.

The Department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says each engineer will be paid R2.5-million a year.   

“This is not a full-time employment. This is for us for the next year to two years. But obviously, this is not about creating a competition between our compatriots and the Cuban engineers. Those have come here for a specific reason.”

Discussion on Minister Sisulu’s decision to hire Cuban engineers to deal with SA’s water problems: 

Last year, government brought more than 200 Cuban health professionals, mostly doctors to South Africa, at a cost of R400 million to help in the fight against the coronavirus.