Massive investment in the development of the African economy
1. The South African state’s capacity to do big business should be expanded to the African continent. State-owned enterprises should heavily invest in the infrastructure and industrial development of the African continent. This should be markedly distinct from the manner in which the Western Powers (the US and European Union) and China do business in Africa. Investment by Transnet in the continent should leave massive footprints concerning skills transfer, the development of the communities where investments happen, the payment of tax, reinvestments, corporate social investment, safety standards, compliance with labour laws and regulations and the fundamental economic development of these countries.
2. South Africa’s established state-owned enterprises and semi-owned parastatals, such as SAA, the Airports Company of South Africa, Eskom, Telkom, Denel, Safcol and other public entities such as the SABC, Infranco and Sentech should begin to invest in the development of the African continent. While avoiding adventurism, these investments should not be driven by the narrow pursuit of profit maximisation, but the need to develop Africa’s infrastructure, logistics, systems and communications in a manner that will transfer skills and create sustainable employment opportunities for many people in the continent, thus contributing to development.
3. The development of the African continent is inextricably linked with the development of South Africa. No amount of sustainable socioeconomic development and stability will be realised in South Africa unless the state plays in active role in the economic development of the African continent. This, obviously, should include the development of trade corridors that link up the entire African continent and create capacity to consume goods and services produced on the continent.
4. In this context, South Africa’s role in the economic development of the African continent should not be that of being merely a gateway to Africa’s natural resources and raw materials for bigger and more rapidly developing economies. South Africa should inspire countries in the African continent to maximise socioeconomic benefits from their natural resources and raw materials, as part of realising economic freedom for the African people. This should not be a rhetorical role, but a concrete guided programme, which should include South African state-owned enterprises expanding to other parts of Africa with the sole aim of uplifting the respective countries’ economies.
5. Owing to surpluses and many sustainable-developmental considerations that will be generated as a result of the South African state’s control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, government should establish a sovereign wealth fund, which will prudently invest in the development of the African economy. This fund will also assist in the insulation of the South African economy whenever there are volatilities in resource-sector prices and when nonrenewable resources are exhausted. Most countries, including China, the US, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Libya, Nigeria, Chile, France and many others, have sovereign wealth funds for these purposes. As we speak, despite massive resource riches, South Africa has no sovereign wealth fund, mainly because South Africans do not own their resources.
6. Economic Justice: The question of economic justice is fundamental to the political programme of the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa and should be promoted actively in the African continent. This includes the regulation and abolishment of foreign control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy in South Africa and the African continent. The EFF political programme should deliberately provide ideological, political and economic support to countries that seek to discontinue foreign control in order to take ownership of their own economic resources within the context of providing assistance where there is difficulty.