Protests Over South Africa’s Decision to Help ‘Bail Out’ Europe

Filed under: Business,Featured |
ANC Youth League photo

ANC Youth League members

The Africa National Congress Youth League joined the Congress of South African Trade Unions on Thursday in calling on the government to reverse its decision to contribute two billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund.

The South African government’s loan to IMF’s Crisis Fund does not tally with the country’s socio-economic reality, the ANCYL said, adding the money was supposed to be better invested to meet the socio-economic demands of the youths in the country.

Cosatu described the action as an attempt by Tshwane to “show international institutions and big powers that South Africa is one of the good boys.”

“In the midst of the dire economic challenges facing our people, especially young people who are unemployed and lack access to education, it would have been more appropriate for consideration to be given to educating the masses of young people and creating employment opportunities for the youth of South Africa,” ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said in a statement.

The youth league said it is concerned by the fact that the IMF has been seen as an organisation that limits the development of the developing nations.

Moonsamy said the IMF has remained “consistently biased” and has not made any significant improvement to the lives of the people of Africa.

G-20 leaders including South Africa on Tuesday agreed to increase the resources of the IMF so that it can serve as a backstop in the event of further deterioration in the eurozone situation.

“This is rejected in the highest terms due to the reality that as we commemorate Youth Month in South Africa, millions of young people are unemployed, face extreme poverty and economic inequalities,” Moonsamy said.

Cosatu national spokesperson Patrick Craven said the reality is that South Africa is one of the most “distressed” economies in the world, with massive levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality, far above the levels in any other G-20 nations and “should therefore be a beneficiary rather than a contributor to such a fund.”

The decision must be reversed and the two billion dollars should be used to alleviate the plight of the poorest South Africans and to invest in the restructuring of our economy, Craven said.

The labour movement called on the ANC delegates to the party Policy Conference to be held in Johannesburg next week to endorse the policy in the ANC Discussion Paper on International Relations which calls for the United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF to be reformed.The ANCYL said South Africa’s approach to international matters should not be at the expense of the South African people.

Brushing aside the criticism, the government said the investment was necessary because it would help prevent more South Africans from losing jobs.

“If the global economy falls sharply, there is a serious risk that we will lose more jobs. In the last global recession we lost one million jobs. Our contribution to the IMF is intended to help stave off this kind of crisis happening again,” presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

“Like China and India, South Africa is a responsible global citizen. We are in the G20 to support global stabilisation and growth. We need to continue to do our duty,” Maharaj said.

With a lower per capita income than South Africa, China has set aside 43 billion dollars for the fund.

India, which is “considerably poorer” is allocating 10 billion dollars, he said.