Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Invest in Africa

Is investing into other countries imperialistic by nature? Is there any thing wrong with rich nations buy stakes in companies of less fortunate countries? Around 1995/96 when Lauren Kabila was closing down on Zaire Nelson Mandela had tried asking Mabutu Seseseko to come to South Africa and avoid bloodshed. It made economic sense given minerals and hydroelectric power of that country. When Kabile Senior came closer Mandela heard that he already had a deal with Canada, which was supporting him with Arms then South Africa turned against him.

It is the truth that can’t be denied that a new democracy in South Africa opened floodgates for international companies to go to Africa under the disguise of South African companies. I think of companies like Vodafone, which fro a very long time wanted to invest in Africa until Vodacom opened the doors form them forget that they failed dismally though.

Travelling to African countries you feel like an American seeing McDonalds and Coca-Cola everywhere. I was speaking to a Tanzania trade unionist yesterday, he told me that South Africa figuratively and literally runs their economy. Railways, telecoms, Banks and big business what more do you want. Shoprite in Malawi pay they staff quarter of what they pay their South African counterparts even though they don’t pay well even here.

What is really sad is that all the money made from these countries flow to South Africa. South African Companies like your Shoprite and Game shops don’t use local production, they import staff from South Africa. That directly kills the economy of those countries, as they can’t compete with us. When Zim was reeling from ever increase inflation rate Pick n’ pay, Makro, Game etc never used Zim industries instead they kept on importing from South Africa, this has destroyed their industries. This pushed 12000 Zimbabweans across the boarder weekly in 1996. Law of migration says people follow money. Maybe that is why every one wants to go to Europe or US I am not sure though about those who go to Australia and New Zealand. South Africa attracts migrants more than any other country in Africa.

We doing this in the name of investing in Africa, is it not surprising that PetroSA is doing business with Mugabe government, Equatorial Guinea of Theo Nguema? One might think that South Africans then benefit, no we don’t instead we are punished just like them. Can you explain what make SASOL petrol to cost the same as Shell petrol? I heard that they produce a barrel from coal at around $40/50.00 but sell it at the price of the Brent crude oil. To add salt in the wound they also get someone from government.

How can we loot Africa and expect that foreigners won’t come to South Africa. But the Truth is that African elite doesn’t want their countryman to come to South African because “they want South Africa for themselves’ Maria in one of the Seminars held at SABC. They want private hospitals, private school and tertiary institutions. Go to any former whites only University or high School and will be amazed how many children of the foreign elite mainly from Africa are in those schools. At least they help to improve the demographics in schools. The Elite from Mozambique live in Nespruit and drive one hour to their native land. South Africa benefited from the crises in Africa, maybe let me rephrase SA big business benefited big time from crises in Africa even though they won’t admit (based on moral values that is if they do have them).

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