About RTÉ Television
Far Away Up Close

South Africa

Click here to watch this programme...

NB: This programme is available to view within the island of Ireland only.

This week, Liz travels to South Africa to ask what role the Irish government's aid programme is playing in a country that is actually defined as middle income? Set against the backdrop of economic progress and development, Liz asks how Irish money is being put to use?

Over the next four years, €65 million euro of Irish tax payers money will provide bi-lateral assistance to South Africa, meaning that money is transferred from one government directly to another.

Liz also travels along the road to Lesotho, a small country landlocked by South Africa. Lesotho is the longest established of Ireland's bilateral country programmes and Ireland has been active there since 1975.

The Issues

As presenter Liz O'Donnell journies through South Africa and Lesotho, major questions arise regarding the role of international aid in the twenty first century. Should aid have an agenda?
Should African countries reject aid and make private investment their sole concentration? Is there a way that international assistance and business can work together? 

The Person Behind the Aid

In the capital city Maseru, Liz spends some time with a young female factory worker called Lineo, who explains how an organisation which Irish aid contributes to, ALAFA, is enabling her to go to work. In a country where stigma about HIV and AIDS is prevalent, ALAFA's role suggests that aid and business can work together.

During their time together, Lineo invites Liz to come to the factory where she has made a  decision to tell her co-workers something very important...


Liz O'Donnell in South Africa
Liz O'Donnell in South Africa