World Bank

THE LEGACY OF ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE

During his remarkable and outstanding short period of leadership, Sobukwe taught us that leadership is initiative and courage. To lead one must initiate ideas and action. He also taught us that leadership is courage. Sobukwe initiated ideas that gave PAC direction and inspiration. There was no confusion and doubt as to where he was taking the PAC. His clarity of thought, systematic thinking and forthrightness left no doubt in the minds of PAC members and the general public as to where the PAC was going and leading the masses of the oppressed and exploited.

THERE IS NO POWER WITHOUT LAND OWNERSHIP!

All wars were about land. Every liberation struggle is about the restoration of indigenous people’s effective control of their land from foreign domination. Final analysis of any armed conflict will find that the source of disagreement is the land.

Land was the root cause of English and Dutch skirmishes in Africa. China and Japan war was over land. Palestinian and Israeli conflict comes down to land. European tribal brawls, erroneously called world wars were about territorial control, which is land.

SOUTH AFRICA AND ESKOM’S WORLD BANK LOAN

On the 14th November the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, in the presence of a World Bank official and on behalf of the government of South Africa, signed for a R1.9 billion loan from the World Bank. The money is to be used for Eskom’s electricity generators. The loan is payable in forty years at 0.25% interest. A country that accepts a World Bank loan is required to enter into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The World Bank and IMF work hand in glove.

It is unbelievable that in the 21st century South Africa can borrow money from the World Bank when there are known problems associated with amortisation and interests. The World Bank most probably insisted on land as collateral. World Bank loans are used to ensnare countries into an unending debt. The World Bank and IMF loans employ conditionalities which involves highly controversial requirements such as austerity or privatization of key public services. Conditionalities imposed on borrower countries are known as Structural Adjustment Programmes.

“Redefining Afrika’s Political Identity in the Era of Globalisation”- 2nd Mayihlome Annual Lecture

Trade is not new. Struggle is not new. Both are as old as human endeavor and for as long as the two have been at odds , there have been fierce battles fought . Whether it was called imperialism, colonialism, global oppression, apartheid the struggle by the many against the economic tyranny of the few remains one of the longest in human history. International trade too has an ancient history. The context for Afrika includes a conflation between colonial interests ,political subjugation and economic control. The story of Afrika after the invaders is essentially a story of the West’s insatiable appetite for raw materials, cheap labour and beautiful minerals ,wildlife and fauna all of which Afrika “Free trade” is not a new experiment either it has been tried before. Prior to the advent of colonialism, the region used to dominate international trade. Colonialism distorted the terms of trade and Third World countries were transformed from being exporters of manufactured commodities to being suppliers of raw materials and a market for British manufactures. What has changed are the uncomfortable, unfavorable and often immoral terms of engagement between the global South and the North.

The prevailing trade paradigm presupposes the existence of equal power relations equal gender relations, equal race relations, equal access to resources and equal voice in economic agenda setting. This is an absolute lie. Some are clearly more equal than others and their voices more audible than others. The ascendance of the World Trade Organisation in 1995 as the overarching body has given rise to continued discussions detailing the historical and structural inequities that prevail unfettered in the current global trading system. It is in fact the institutionalisation of every lie about the supposedly equal nature of power relations between the global communities.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH JACOB ZUMA?

What the hell is wrong with Jacob Zuma? Doing the rounds in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek municipalities on Friday 20 August, he claimed to be shocked by the squalid living conditions of township residents in these areas which are regarded as top tourist attractions. You could guess that he expects the same sympathetic reactions he had from the public ahead of the 2009 general elections after similar incredulous exclamations of shock at the sight of poverty for poor whites in Pretoria.

Anyone with an introductory knowledge of the challenges facing transformation in South Africa should be well aware that the historical super exploitation of African workers and poor peasants is without measure. It is so deeply entrenched that it now appears ‘natural’ to both the beneficiaries and the victims. Poverty is poverty, Mr President; it is not black or white. Only racism defines it in those terms, with the mistaken belief that superior whites could not be poor and that inferior blacks should be pleased with their lowly station in life. In the lexicon of revolutionary Pan Africanists, Zuma’s interpretation is called colonial mentality of a special type.

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