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Cuban engineers ‘displace’ local Southafrican scientists

Pretoria, June 29 (– The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu accompanied with Deputy Ambassador of Cuba in South Africa introduced Cuban engineers who will be working on the country's water system in Pretoria.Cuban engineers arriving in South Africa on April 2021

Employing 25 Cuban engineers to assist with water-infrastructure maintenance at a cost of R54.9-million for three years has allegedly resulted in South African, government-educated scientists being cast aside, as revealed in South Africa newspaper Mail & Guardian.

However, the South African Qualifications Authority argues that deploying the Cubans “was based on their rare and exclusive expertise in relation to maintaining and prolonging the lifespan of water and sanitation related infrastructure”. Sisulu said the Cubans would be in the country for three years and would be receiving a “monthly stipend”.

Detractors have argued that because of the country’s 32.7% unemployment rate —worsened by the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent retrenchments— local professionals and graduates have been sitting at home. Employing the foreign engineers is deemed short sighted, insulting and illogical.