The Institute for Race Relations (IRR) has called on the international community not to donate money to South Africa due to the government’s “dangerous policy intentions”.
The IRR says giving financial aid to South Africa as its government continues its devastating policy is only going to aggravate South Africans’ hardship.
The institute says it will open an open letter to the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, England, Italy, India, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, and Indonesia write and ask them to keep their wallets closed.
Hermann Pretorius, the IRR’s deputy head of policy research, says countries will be asked to keep in mind the damaging effects of government policy on the economy and the country’s prospect of building a steady, equitable, and prosperous future.
The IRR says donors to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) need to know why “our country is once again forced to its knees and why the country’s people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, endure hardship that could be avoided”.
Hermann says the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid met exactly 43 years ago to decide how the international community will respond to the deteriorating situation in apartheid South Africa.
Much has changed – and improved – in the country, meanwhile, but Hermann says it’s a mockery that the most vulnerable South Africans are exposed to circumstances reminiscent of that time four decades later. He says a violent, oppressive and destructive ideology prevails, a minority is enriched and most people live in fear, poverty and need.
Hermann said the government had earlier this month negotiated with the IMF for a $ 4.2bn (almost R70bn) bailout. “Due to the global economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying government decisions to deal with it, the economic and fiscal situation in South Africa is undoubtedly bad. This resulted from the decision by the ANC and its partners in the SACP and Cosatu to approach the IMF.
“However, the Covid-19 crisis was a crisis on top of several other crises and the combination of these pushed South Africa into the abyss.”
However, Hermann said the pandemic did not cause weaknesses in the economy or undermine the government’s ability to improve South Africans’ lives – it merely exposed it.
He says it is government policy that has led to an increase in unemployment, unproductivity and a non-growing economy. It has also led to the withdrawal of investment and capital from the country, increasing social unrest and dissatisfaction.
“Despite the ANC’s own government success before the change of direction in 2007, and its subsequent failures, the administration of Pres. [Cyril] Ramaphosa stubbornly and deliberately refused to change the policy rate that devastated the hull of the South African ship. “