SA urged to explain multimillion dollar Zim loan

Tendai Biti and Pravin Gordhan

Tendai Biti and Pravin Gordhan

By Alex Bell
19 April 2013

South Africa’s ruling ANC government is being urged to explain the details of a multimillion dollar loan it is allegedly giving Zimbabwe, amid calls for the money to be hinged on tough pre-conditions.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti said this week an estimated $100 million has been approved by South Africa to loan to its financially challenged neighbour. Biti had approached his South African counterpart Pravin Gordhan last September for assistance, with Zimbabwe still battling to make ends meet.

Biti then told a press conference on Monday that a “positive decision” had been made by South Africa.

“Pursuant to discussions in September 2012, I’m aware the South African Cabinet has made a decision — and it’s a positive decision,” Biti told reporters.

There has been no official confirmation about the loan from South Africa’s Finance Ministry. But finance portfolio committee chairman Thaba Mufamadi has slammed Biti for going public with the proposed loan before it had been finalised by the two governments.

“While issues are still being discussed between the two governments, somebody jumps the gun elsewhere. Biti says we’ll bear the brunt of not adhering to their request because people will vote with their feet and come across (to South Africa),” said Mufamadi.

Opposition groups in South Africa, along with concerned citizens and observers, are now demanding answers from the government about the details of the loan. The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has led the calls, saying any loan to Zimbabwe must have preconditions that the election in that country this year be free and fair.

DA finance spokesman Tim Harris said this week he had submitted a parliamentary question to the South African Finance minister to clarify the terms of the supposed funding.

“If we indeed intend providing the loans to Zimbabwe then Minister Gordhan has a duty to explain to South Africans the motivation for extending such generous financial support. There are three main issues that urgently need to be clarified: the motivation for the loan, the terms of the repayment and any conditionality attached to it,” Harris said, adding that South Africa should not be extending credit without strict political conditions.

Last week, ZANU PF blocked a visit by a United Nations (UN) delegation that was meant to conduct a fact-finding mission in Zimbabwe, as part of the UN’s preconditions for financial support for the country’s elections. These preconditions angered ZANU PF who want money without any strings attached, and a request for a loan from the UN has reportedly been withdrawn.

Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it is no surprise that Zimbabwe would now turn to South Africa, which, historically “has a controversial friendship with ZANU PF.”

“The preconditions stipulated by the UN should be enforced, just like the Global Political; Agreement should be enforced. But ZANU PF has been defiant. Yet they will still find money elsewhere, like South Africa,” Mashiri said.

He continued: “South Africa, as the mediator in the Zimbabwe political situation, has a conflict of interest by supplying these funds.”

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10 Responsesto “SA urged to explain multimillion dollar Zim loan”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    ‘The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has led the calls, saying any loan to Zimbabwe must have preconditions that the election in that country this year be free and fair’.

    What can we expect from a Boer organisation, an organisation that promoted apartheid in South Africa but now consider itself as a democratic political party? The Boers still want to hold on to the land for ever in South Africa while the black people of this country own and control nothing. Almost twenty years when South African attained independence, approximately 90 percent of the land and the economy are largely in the hands of a tiny Boer minority.The ZANU PF government that has given land to its indigenous people is a serious threat to their very existence in South Africa and hence all this foolish and arrogant call for the imposition of conditionalities on Zimbabwe which for all intents and purposes are political. After all this is a loan which Zimbabwe will pay back when the economic climate in the country changes for the better. Of course, the ANC of South Africa, our true friends, will not listen to this crap from the so-called Democratic Alliance.

    • GBZ says:

      Oh is it not strange how this “Boer” was voted in by the “Black” population in SA, and is it not strange that this “Boers” voting constituency is the most up to date and transparant in the whole of SA, and is it not strange that the Cape province were the ONLY province in SA to balance its books and show no corruption since the “Boer” won her election,and is it not strange that this “Boers” province is the safest and most law abiding in the whole of SA. Your post shows me you are a mentally sick and disturbed and demented moron who will say any rediculous crap agaist whites blacks and anyone with the same rediculous stupidity and I guess you keep toilet paper on you at all times to wipe your mouth after you speak.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        You must be one of the remaining Boers who is upset by the truth. Is it not true that the Boers in this country still own and control all land and to a very large extent the economy of South Africa? Put your cards on the table instead of insulting me for saying the truth. It is who is demented, an idiot and foolish of the worst order if you can not accept what is common knowledge that Boers still own and control all land and the economy. How absurd when a man like you who purports to be Christian insults others for telling the truth and for glorifying the continued exploitation of the black South Africans by Boers. You must be ashamed of yourself that you are wicked and evil.

    • Toots says:

      what you fail to understand is that those so called boer remit more that 60% of taxes. so they are are within their right to have a say how the money is used. that is what is called a democracy.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        I am fully aware that Boers remit that percentage, perhaps even more, in taxes as they own and control the entire economy of South Africa nearly twenty years this country has been a sovereign and independent state. What justification is there for a minority white elite to control all the land and economy while the indigenous people of this country own and control nothing?.
        Your definition of democracy is highly misplaced. It is not democracy when a minority of Boers exploit the indigenous people of this country

        • Toots says:

          As much as I agree with you on the of addressing the imbalances of wealth distribution in the country. I will disagree with on the issue of democracy. Muface wangu my definition of democracy is not misplaced. If you understand the south african constitution and the negotiations that were made to end apartheid then you will understand what I mean. Based on the constitution all the boers are south africans before then can be called white, they are taxpayers like anyone else. As taxpayers they have a right to be represented and to demand how that money is used. Fortunately the ANC knows the contribution that these guys are making and therefore will not rush into invading companies and farms. Imagine if South Africa was to collapse. There will be chaos in SADC. This is where we must think of consequences before we take radical action. If you look at a person based on skin colour then if all the white people are gone then you will find something else that can divide people like tribe, religion, clan, province or whether that person supports dynamos or caps and so on.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            Can you define for me your understanding of the term democracy, please? When you have done this I guess we can take our discussion to another level. It seems to me that we can only discuss this further if we both understand what the terms and issues for discussion are. I also do not understand the terms ”invading companies and land’ by the South African government and how it would impact on SADC. I kindly request for more details to enable me respond to your article appropriately.

          • GBZ says:

            Now that is what I call a balanced intelegent arguement! Thanks Toots.

        • Common Sense says:

          The ironic thing is that you could replace ‘Boer’ or ‘white’ with ‘ZANU-PF elite’ in Zimbabwe and you have exactly the same situation occurring, but this time by blacks on blacks. You are right it is not democracy in Zimbabwe either.

    • Common Sense says:

      You show your ignorance here once again, and you racist blood.

      Look at the history of the DA, back even before Helen Suzman… they were the stalwarts of being the very resistance to apartheid…

      Being white does not make everyone a Boerr

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