Why South Africa Must Rethink IMF and World Bank

Published on 2nd January 2019

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde was in South Africa to meet Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and President Cyril Ramaphosa. The people of this country and their so-called leftist organisations like the newly formed Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) led by Irvin Jim saw nothing wrong with this visit. In countries where there are truly socialist political parties there would have been massive demonstrations against Lagarde's visit. 

There are no socialist parties in South Africa. They are all quacks and impostors. That is why this country is in big trouble. Political analyst Ralph Mathekga thinks Irvin Jim's SRWP is socialist. That's a pipe dream. It is because of analysts such as Mathekga and the whole caboodle of them that SA is in such big trouble because of their shallow analyses of our situation and the wrong and misleading information they present to the public. The less said about the media the better. It's worse. The media shapes a people's culture. There is little wonder therefore that most South Africans are so ignorant and naive. 

Radio and television presenters are ignorant of the shameful role the IMF and World Bank played, not only on the African continent but throughout the developing world. It was not for nothing that former Tanzanian President referred to the IMF as the International Ministry of Finance. It and the World Bank meddle in the economic and political affairs of many countries and dictate which development models they should adopt, especially in the developing world. 

If your country receives visitors from the IMF and World Bank then you must know that you are in big trouble. They are robbers and pick our pockets. Lagarde was in town because the ANC government killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. Is it not interesting that the ANC government is a hanger-on and riding on the coat tails of the IMF and World Bank when Muammar Gaddafi had completely done away with that dependency? Yet the ANC government presided over the overthrow and assassination of the Libyan leader. The assassinated former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded many African countries and reduced their dependence on the West and their financial institutions such the IMF and World Bank which have a bad reputation in the developing world through their loans with strings attached. The ANC government is firmly in the grip of these notorious Bretton Woods institutions. 

If you are a truly democratic country then you must demand transparency and accountability from Kganyago and Ramaphosa. How do you achieve that? Representatives from opposition political parties, progressive social movements and civil society organisations must be represented in meetings between Lagarde and Kganyago and between Lagarde and Ramaphosa. Affairs of the state cannot be run on the basis of secrecy. No borrowing of money from the IMF or World Bank. No privatisation of state owned enterprises. No agreement on trade liberalisation. No agreement by the Reserve Bank to devalue the rand. In fact, no agreement at all on anything. 

If the IMF and World Bank enter into secret agreements with the ANC government and offer loans then they must know that they are not binding on governments that will take over from the ANC government. But why would a country such as South Africa endowed with mineral and other natural resources go with a begging bowl on all fours to rapacious financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank?  

The ANC under Nelson Mandela agreed in secret to pay an odious apartheid government debt which placed a heavy burden on poor Africans to this day. Such shady deals must not be allowed anymore. The ANC government must be enjoined to play open cards.

We must insist on our right to self-determination. Entangling the country in an inextricable debt trap is not the way to go.

By Sam Ditshego


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