[DEBATE] : Investment Council meeting
Riaz K Tayob
riazt at iafrica.com
Sun May 14 11:28:03 BST 2006
Not sure if anyone saw South Africa's presidency pandering to the whims
of international business. ASGISA, JIPSA, NEPAD and APRM were all up for
discussion. And ofcourse leading the pack were Manuel and Erwin, who
have produced this excellent balance sheet for South Africa. This baance
sheet must now be used to provide infrastructure and loans to the govt,
according to the Chairman of Reuters.
Now if China or Korea or Malaysia had asked any of this coterie of
leaders what should be done - you guessed it, liberalisation. The mantra
has not changed. I guess these are photo opps that cannot be missed and
must be used to market brand South Africa.
Need some critiques of ASGISA, which is yet another programme that has
preceded and seems to have displaced the Industrial Policy development
at the DTI. Much like the African Renaissance, we announce the container
first and then worry about what we put into it later (if at all).
The saving grace is that COSATU is standing up to this nonesense and
asking some hard questions about what government is doing. Since there
is still no serious economic plan comparable to any of the economies
that escaped the "resource curse" (because thats what it is), these
meetings are feel good sessions that have a stated intention of taking
the people with them but do little to impact on SA's stance.
At the WTO, we are liberalising services, mining, forestry, industrial
products and even agriculture. This coterie can talk all it wants, but
the real decisions are being made in spite of them...pity with a 70%
democratic majority other countries are acting in the public interest.
For us, that seems to remain a novel idea.
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