ANC Looks East as Distrust in the West Grows


South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), appears to be looking to the East for future investment into the country’s economic development as Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe stated during an interview on Tuesday that South Africa does not need the money of Western investors.

The ANC remain deeply suspicious of the West due to the perceived high-handedness of the United States and Africa’s former European colonial powers. The party also objects to the conditions which often accompany investments made by Western institutions. “Sometimes, when you deal with the IMF or World Bank, or anything, they feel that you must stop thinking because they have money and they will tell you what to do with the money,” Mantashe said.

In 2011, South Africa joined the Brics group of emerging economic powers Brazil, Russia, India and China. It has been clear that the country wishes to emulate the Chinese and Brazilian models of state intervention in the economy.

Since then, China has become South Africa’s biggest trading partner due to the fewer strings attached with investment. Last year alone South Africa exported good worth R90.2 billion to China, more than twice exports to Germany and approximately eight times more than those to Britain.

ANC in a Mess

During the interview Mantashe also admitted that the ANC is in a mess, but also said that they are in the process of cleaning up the corruption and in-fighting which has tarnished its image.

Mantashe said that part of the problem lay in placing inexperienced ANC members in bureaucratic posts commanding huge and complex budgets. “It is like taking a mouse from the bush and making it run a cheese factory,” he said.

While President Jacob Zuma’s government has made progress with the provision of housing and services, it still faces hundreds of protests from the South African people each year over service delivery and corruption. South Africa has also received a downgrade from all three major global ratings agencies who believe Zuma’s government is on the wrong track and the country is facing an uncertain future.

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