Johannesburg - Western investors have to realise South
Africa does not need their money since it can turn increasingly to fellow Brics
members India and China to fund its economic development, ANC secretary general
Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.
"There is a dynamic that Western investors must wake up
to," Mantashe, day-to-day head of the ANC, told Reuters in an interview.
"If they are still sulking regularly, there is a
growing 'look East' tendency that is emerging throughout the continent, the
The left-leaning ANC is deeply suspicious of the West,
resenting what it sees as high-handedness by the United States and Africa's
former European colonial powers and distrusting free market capitalism.
It also objects to conditions often imposed by Western
institutions as the price of their investment.
"Sometimes, when you deal with the IMF or World Bank,
or anything, they feel that you must stop thinking because they have money and
they will tell you what to do with the money," Mantashe, a former union
"As long as that is the case, you are going to see the
fast growth of the 'look East' policy," he said.
China provides investment with far fewer strings attached,
while its approach is perceived as more tactful. As a result it has become
South Africa's biggest trading partner.
Last year South Africa exported goods worth R90.2bn to
China, more than twice exports to Germany and about eight times more than those
to Britain. South Africa's trade deficit with China was about $3bn.
South Africa joined the Brics group of emerging economic
powers Brazil, Russia, India and China in early 2011, and has made clear its
desire to emulate the Chinese and Brazilian models of state intervention in the
Mantashe and other top ANC officials have taken several
trips to China to see how it uses state-owned industry to power its economy.
"The Brics development bank is going to be a reality
and that is where we look for money and funding because developing economies
must be allowed to grow and develop," he said.
Meanwhile the ANC has shown its distrust for Western firms,
for example with an unsuccessfu attempt to roll back approval for Walmart's
$2.4bn acquisition of retailer Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM].
"A mouse from the bush"
Mantashe also admitted the ANC, which has ruled Africa's
biggest economy since the end of apartheid in 1994, was in a mess. But he said
it was cleaning up the infighting and corruption scandals that have eroded its
Mantashe said part of the problem lay in the deployment of
inexperienced ANC cadres to bureaucratic posts commanding huge and complex
"It is like taking a mouse from the bush and making it
run a cheese factory," he said.
"The mess we are dealing with now grew up over a long
period of time," he said. "We are mopping up. Once we are able to mop
up the mess, it means we are not dysfunctional."
All three major global ratings agencies have downgraded
their outlook for South Africa, saying President Jacob Zuma's government is on
the wrong track with graft, a wide budget deficit and a poor education system
clouding the future.
Zuma's government has made progress in building houses and
providing running water, power and healthcare but it also faces hundreds of
protests each year from people saying more must be done and accusing local
officials of lining their pockets.
"You are not... entitled to have your hand in the till.
You are entitled to a salary. Everything else does not belong to you,"