[Documents menu]Political History of Southern Africa
Date: Fri, 9 May 97 09:21:36 CDT
From: rich%pencil@cmsa.Berkeley.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH

/** headlines: 188.0 **/
** Topic: Report Details Apartheid's March North **
** Written 12:09 PM May 8, 1997 by econet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 10:14 AM May 8, 1997 by chosso@travel-net.com in dev.worldbank */
/* ---------- "Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan" ---------- */

Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan Africa

By Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa, author of The Globalization of Poverty: Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang and Zed Press, London, 1997. Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, 1996. Complete footnotes and sources available from author chosso@travel-net.com.

The right wing Afrikaner Freedom Front (FF) headed by General Constand Viljoen plans to develop a "Food Corridor" extending across the Southern part of the continent from Angola to Mozambique. Afrikaner agri-business is to extend its grip into neighbouring countries with large scale investments in commercial farming, food processing and eco-tourism. The Afrikaner unions of the Orange Free State and Eastern Transvaal are partners; the objective is to set up White-owned farms beyond South Africa's borders.

The "Food Corridor", however, does not mean "food for the local people". On the contrary, under the scheme the peasants will loose their land; small-holders will become farm labourers or tenants on large scale plantations owned by the Boers. Moreover, the South African Chamber for Agricultural Development (SACADA) which acts as an umbrella organization is integrated by several right wing organisations including the Freedom Front (FF) led by Viljoen and the secret Afrikaner Broederbond. As South African Defence Force (SADF) Commander in Chief during the Apartheid regime, General Viljoen had personally ordered the attacks on so-called "African National Congress Targets" including the blow up of suspected anti-apartheid activists and critics. As revealed by former spy Craig Williamson from classified State Security Council documents, Viljoen was also responsible for Stratcom (Strategic Communications), a covert organization involved in frame-ups, political assassinations, bombings, torture, covert propaganda and "dirty tricks campaigns"...(Stefaans Brummer, "The Web of Stratcoms", Weekly Mail and Guardian. 24 February 1995).

The Freedom Front, although "moderate" in comparison to Eugene Terre'Blanche's far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), is a racist political movement committed to the Afrikaner Volksstaat. The SACADA-Freedom Front initiative has nonetheless the political backing of the African National Congress as well as the personal blessing of President Nelson Mandela who has delegated Mpumalanga Premier Matthews Phosa to the SACADA Board of Governors. All the other governors are members of the Freedom Front.

Premier Phosa, a distinguished ANC politician and among the most prosperous black businessmen in Mpumalanga province (East Transvaal), is the architect of a proposed "regional economic block" between Eastern Transvaal, Mozambique and Swaziland. Premier Phosa is not only firmly behind the SACADA-Freedom Front initiative, he has also contributed to laying the political ground work for the expansion of White Afrikaner business interests into neighbouring countries. Phosa informed the provincial legislature in 1995 that "he is communicating with Afrikaner leader General Constand Viljoen to ensure that their separate initiatives are complementary".

In discussions with President Mandela, General Viljoen had argued that:

"settling Afrikaner farmers would stimulate the economies of neighbouring states, would provide food and employment for locals, and that this would stem the flow of illegal immigrants into South Africa". (see EU Backs Boers Trek to Mozambique", Weekly Mail and Guardian, 1 December 1995).

Viljoen has also held high level meetings on Afrikaner agricultural investments with representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and other donor agencies.

In turn, Pretoria is negotiating with several African governments on behalf of SACADA and the Freedom Front. The ANC government is anxious to facilitate the expansion of corporate agri-business into neighbouring countries. "`Mandela has asked the Tanzanian government to accept Afrikaner farmers to help develop the agricultural sector'. SACADA has approached some 12 African countries `interested in White South African farmers'". In a venture set up in 1994 under the South African Development Corporation (SADEVCO), the government of the Congo had granted to the Boers 99 year leases on agricultural land. President Mandela endorsed the scheme calling on African nations "to accept the migrants as a kind of foreign aid".

An earlier trek of White farmers to Zambia and the Congo dating to the early 1990s met with mixed results. Rather than tied to the interests of corporate agribusiness (as in the case of SACADA), the impetus was based on the resettlement of individual (often bankrupt) Afrikaner farmers without political backing, financial support and the legitimacy of the New South Africa.

The African host countries have on the whole welcomed the inflow of Afrikaner investments. With regard to regulatory policies, however, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO) (rather than national governments) call the shots, invariably requiring (indebted) countries to accept "a wide open door to foreign capital". In this context, the liberalisation of trade and investment under donor supervision, tends to support the extension of Afrikaner business interests throughout the region. Moreover, in the sleazy environment shaped by transnational corporations and international creditors, corrupt politicians and senior bureaucrats are often co-opted or invited to become the "business partners" of South African and other foreign investors.

The Expropriation of Peasant Lands

The "Food Corridor" will displace a pre-existing agricultural system, it not only appropriates the land, its takes over the the host country's economic and social infrastructure, it spells increased levels of poverty in the countryside. It will most likely provide a fatal blow to subsistence agriculture as well as to the peasant cash crop economy; it displaces local level agricultural markets and aggravates the conditions of endemic famine prevailing in the region. Jen Kelenga, a spokesperson for a pro-democracy group in Zaire sees the Boers "in search of new territories to apply their racist way of living".

The "Food Corridor" if carried through, could potentially alter the rural landscape of the Southern African region, requiring the uprooting and displacement of small farmers over an extensive territory. Under the proposed scheme, millions of hectares of the best farmland are to be handed over to South African agri-business. The Boers will manage large scale commercial farms using the rural people both as "labour tenants" as well as seasonal agricultural workers. While the project is meant to "bring development", and "transfer much needed agricultural expertise", the initiative is largely intent upon "exporting Apartheid" to neighbouring countries. The latter objective is in turn supported by the gamut of IMF-World Bank sponsored economic reforms.

Afrikaner investments in agriculture go hand in hand with the World Bank sponsored Land Law. The expropriation of peasant lands is often demanded by creditors as a condition for the rescheduling of Paris Club debts. Peasant lands (which formally belonged to the State) are sold (at very low prices) or leased out to international agri-business (eg. on a 50-99 years concession). The meagre proceeds of the land sales will be used to service the external debt.

The World Bank has put forth land legislation in Sub-Saharan Africa which abrogates the right to land of millions of small-holders. Identical land legislation is enforced throughout the region, the national level land laws (drafted under technical advice from World Bank Legal Department) are with some variations "exact carbon copies of each other":

"The constitution [in Mozambique] says that the land is the property of the State and cannot be sold or mortgaged. There has been strong pressure particularly from the United States and the World Bank for land to be privatised and to allow mortgages..."(Joseph Hanlon, Supporting Peasants in their Fight for Land, Christian Aid, London, November 1995.

South African companies and banks are also participating in the country-level privatisation programmes (under the structural adjustment programme) acquiring at rock bottom prices the ownership of State assets in mining, public utilities and agriculture. With regard to the latter, experimental farms, government research stations, State-owned plantations, seed producing facilities, etc. have been put on the auction block. With the deregulation of agricultural markets under World Bank advice, the State marketing system is either closed down or taken over by private investors.

Derogating Customary Land Rights

Under the proposed land legislation, both SACADA and the World Bank nonetheless tout the protection of traditional land rights. The small peasantry is to be "protected" through the establishment of "customary land reserves" established in the immediate vicinity of the White commercial farms. In practice, under the new land legislation, the majority of the rural people will be caged into small territorial enclaves ("communal lands") while the bulk of the best agricultural land will be sold or leased to private investors.

This also means that peasant communities which practice shifting cultivation over a large land area as well as pastoralists, will henceforth be prosecuted for encroaching on lands earmarked for commercial farming, often without their prior knowledge. Impoverished by the macro-economic reforms, with no access to credit and modern farm inputs, these customary enclaves will constitute "labour reserves" for large scale agri-business.

Afrikaner Farms in Mozambique

SACADA has plans to invest in Mozambique, Zaire, Zambia and Angola, "with Mozambique being the test case". President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and President Nelson Mandela signed an intergovernmental agreement in May 1996 which grants rights to Afrikaner agri-business to develop investments in at least six provinces encompassing territorial concessions of some eight million hectares. According to one South African official (interviewed in Maputo, July 1996):

"Mozambique needs the technical expertise and the money, and we have the people... We favour an area which is not heavily populated because it is an Achilles heal if there are too many people on the land... For the Boers, Land is next to God and the Bible."

In SACADA's concessionary areas in Mozambique, the "socialist" Frelimo government will ensure that there is no encroachment; rural small-holders and subsistence farmers (who invariably do not possess legal land titles) will either be expulsed or transferred into marginal lands.(See the documents of the Land Conference, Conferencia Nacional de terras, documento de trabalho, Maputo, July 1996). In turn, according to Hanlon (op. cit.) members of the Military and government ministers who seek to become "business partners" of international agri-business have already been granted concessions over millions of hectares of land which is already occupied by the peasantry.

The World Bank together with bilateral donors has proposed on behalf of potential foreign investors, a system of land registration including the extensive mapping of land areas through aerial photography in view of generating digitised maps (Hanlon, op cit.).

In Mozambique's Niassa province, the best agricultural land will be leased in concession to the Afrikaners for fifty years. "There are just so many beautiful, fertile places to choose from...", said Egbert Hiemstra "who owns two farms in Lydenburg and wants a third in Mozambique". At the token price of some $0.15 per hectare per annum, the land lease is a give-away. Through the establishment of Mosagrius (a joint venture company), SACADA is now firmly established in the fertile valley of the Lugenda river. But the Boers also have their eyes on agricultural areas along the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers as well as on the road and railway facilities linking Lichinga, Niassa's capital to the deep see port of Nagala. The railway line is being rehabilitated and modernised (by a French contractor) with development aid provided by France.

In the initial stage of the agreement, concessionary areas in Niassa province were handed over to SACADA in 1996 to be settled by some 500 White Afrikaner farmers (Agreement on Basic Principles and Understanding, concerning the Mosagrius Development Project, Maputo, May 1996). These lands are earmarked for commercial farming in both temperate highveld and sub-tropical lowfeld.

"Our intention is to develop the highveld areas in maize, wheat and beef cattle linked up with agro-processing and the export market. In the lowvelds we will plant a variety of tropical fruit trees as well as establish modern juice factories. Our agricultural institutes will establish research stations in the area with a view to supporting SACADA's initiative...Eventually we would also like to get into the cotton areas of Nampulo and Cabo Delgado provinces" (interview with Mosagrius project liason officer, South African High Commission, Maputo)

The available infrastructure including several state buildings and enterprises will be handed over; several State owned farms in Niassa will be transferred to Mosagrius, the Technical College in Lichinga has been transferred to the Boers. The agricultural Research Station is also to be taken over: "They want out", they are seeking Afrikaner investment to keep the Research Station afloat. Eventually Afrikaner agro-business is intent on taking over the government's seed producing facilities (SEMOC) in Niassa.

In the Mosagrius project, "The main thrust will come from the successful farmers in South Africa who are now seeking for new lands, and who are able to mobilise considerable financial resources"(ibid). They will operate their new farms as part of their business undertakings in South Africa, dispatching White Afrikaner managers and supervisors to Mozambique. "Family farms with a good track record but without funding capabilities are also eligible. They will rely on SACADA for funding"(ibid). No provision is made, however, to help Afrikaner farmers driven into bankruptcy as a result of Pretoria's economic liberalisation programme. These farmers may, nonetheless, be hired to work as managers in Mozambique.

In turn, the Boers will bring their Black right-hand men, their tractor operators, their technicians. In the words of the Mosagrius liaison officer at the South African High Commission in Maputo: "Each and every Afrikaner farmer will bring his tame Kaffirs" (ibid) who will be used to supervise the local workers. The number of White settlers in the concessionary areas in Niassa is likely to be small.

SACADA has carefully mapped out the designated areas by helicopter, South Africa's agricultural research institutes have surveyed the area, providing an assessment of prevailing environmental, climatic and social conditions. Agricultural scientists have not limited their focus to the analysis of soil samples, human settlements in the area have been studied; South African demographers have been called in as consultants to evaluate the implications of displacing the rural people.

Creating "Rural Townships"

Under the SACADA scheme, the rural communities in Niassa which occupy the Afrikaner concessionary areas are to be regrouped into "rural townships" similar to those of the Apartheid regime:

"What you do is to develop villages along the roadside close to the [White] farms. These villages have been planned very carefully [by SACADA] in proximity to the fields so that farm-workers can go back and forth; you give the villages some infrastructure and a plot of land for each household so that the farm-labourers can set up their food gardens".(ibid).

Unless token customary land rights are entrenched within or in areas contiguous to the concessions, the peasants will become landless farm labourers or "labour tenants". Under the latter system applied by the Boers in South Africa since the 19th Century, black peasant households perform labour services (corv e) in exchange for the right to farm a small parcel of land. Formally outlawed in South Africa in 1960 by the Nationalist government, "labour tenancy" remains in existence in many parts of South Africa including East Transvaal and Kwa-Zulu Natal. It has evolved towards the payment of a (very low) nominal wage largely to disguise the (outlawed) feudal relationship. Since 1995, it has been the target of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Bill of Land Affairs Minister Derek Hanekom.

The rural townships established in the concessions will constitute "reserves" of cheap labour for the White commercial farms. Wages are substantially lower than in South Africa. For seasonal workers, the wage has been set at the statutory minimum wage, a meagre $18 a month which the IMF Representative Sergio Leite, considered in his statement to a donors' meeting in 1995, to be "excessive" by international standards. He also pointed to the inflationary pressures resulting from wage demands.

The derogation of workers rights as well as the deregulation of the labour market under IMF advice, enables the Boers not only to pay their Mozambican workers excessively low wages but also to escape the demands of Black agricultural workers in South Africa. It also allows corporate agri-business investing in neighbouring countries to more effectively lobby the ANC government against Land Reform and "affirmative action" programmes within South Africa.

Moreover, under the Mosagrius Agreement the Mozambican government will be fully responsible in dealing with land disputes and ensuring the expropriation of peasant lands "without prejudice or loss that may occur from such claims to SDM [Mosagrius] and other Mosagrius participants"(clause 42 of Mosagrius Agreement).

Foreign Aid Supports the Establishments of White Farms

South Africa's major commercial banks, the World Bank and the European Union have firmly backed the project. "The Food Corridor" has become an integral part of the IMF-World Bank sponsored structural adjustment programme. In the words of SACADA Secretary Willie Jordaan: "SACADA had endeavoured to bring its policies in line with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and claimed that it was set to become an international development agency" with a mandate to contract with donor institutions and carry out "foreign aid programmes" on their behalf.

While the West endorsed ANCs struggle against the Apartheid regime, in a somewhat unusual twist it is now providing financial support to a racist Afrikaner development organization. Under the disguise of "foreign aid", Western donors are in fact contributing to the extension of the Apartheid system into neighbouring countries. The European Union has provided money to SACADA out of a development package explicitly earmarked by Brussels for South Africa's Reconstruction and Development Programme. According to an EU spokesman, the project "was the best noise out of Africa in 30 years". The EU Ambassador to South Africa Mr. Erwan Fou r met General Viljoen to discuss the project. Fou r confirmed that if all goes well, further EU money could be made available to cover the costs of "settling Afrikaner farmers in South Africa's neighbouring countries".(EU Backs Boers Trek to Mozambique, Weekly mail and Guardian, 1 December 1996).

The initiative is categorised by the donor community as a bona fide development project which will benefit the peasantry in the host country as well as contribute to South Africa's Reconstruction. The fact that the scheme derogates the land rights of small-holders and replicates the system of "labour tenancy" prevalent in South Africa under Apartheid is not a matter for discussion.

Moreover, national investment priorities set by the donors in the host countries (under the World Bank sponsored Public Investment Programme), are increasingly tuned to meeting the needs of South African business interests. In Mozambique, for instance, so-called "targeted investments" are undertaken with a view to rehabilitating port facilities, roads, water resources, river and lake transportation, etc. largely to the benefit of South African investors including SACADA.

Moreover, under the Mosagrius Agreement, Afrikaner investors "shall be allowed a right of first refusal" in privatisation tenders in concessionary areas under their jurisdiction (clause 15F section c of Mosagrius Agreement). In turn the country's investment legislation (drafted with the technical assistance of the World Bank) will provide for the free remittance of corporate profits and the repatriation of capital back to South Africa.

The SACADA scheme is also likely to suck up a portion of the State's meagre health and education budget. In Mozambique, under the terms of the Agreement the authorities are also to support the provision of Western-style health services as well as create a "sanitary environment" for the White Afrikaners settling in the territory (clauses 38 and 39 of the Mosagrius Agreement). Part of the money provided by donors and international organisations for social programmes will also be channelled towards the concessionary areas.

Fostering Ecotourism

Most of Mozambique's coastline on lake Niassa --including a 160 km. stretch in the Rif Valley from Meponda to Mapangula extending further North to Ilha sobre o Lago close to the Tanzanian border-- has been designated "for tourism and other complementary and subsidiary activities [which are] ecologically sustainable" (clause 38 and 39 of Mosagrius Agreement). The latter also include designated areas for South African investments in fishing and aquaculture on lake Niassa displacing the local fishing industry (see addendum 1, art. 1d of Mosagrius Agreement).

In turn, the Agreement hands over to Mosagrius, the development and operation rights over the Niassa Game Reserve on the Tanzanian border. The Reserve includes an extensive area of some 20,000 hectares earmarked for a so-called "ecologically sustainable ecotourism". SACADA is to fence the entire area and establish up-market tourist lodges on the periphery of the Game Park; hunting of wild game is also envisaged for wealthy individuals "in strictly controlled areas". According to the Mosagrius liason officer,"fauna restocking of the Reserve may, however, be required to ensure that tourists see the real thing". A specialist from South Africa's Department of Nature Conservation is assisting SACADA in the planning the venture as well as securing financial resources. International funding of the lodges and the Game Reserve is in the process of being secured from a number of wealthy private investors...

In a much larger undertaking, James Ulysses Blanchard III, the right-wing Texan tycoon has been granted a concession over a vast territory which includes the Maputo Elephant Reserve and the adjoining Machangula peninsula. During the Mozambican civil war, Blanchard provided financial backing to Renamo, the rebel organization directly supported by the the Apartheid regime and trained by the South African Defence Force (SADF).

"But it now seems that the man who once bankrolled a rebel army to wage a war of incredible destruction and brutality (the US State Department once described Renamo atrocities as worse than those of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia) is likely to be rewarded with control over a huge chunk of Mozambique's richest province".(Eddie Koch, "The Texan who Plans a Dream Park Just Here", Weekly Mail and Guardian, 18 January 1996

Blanchard intends to create an Indian Ocean Dream Park with a floating hotel, deluxe tourist lodges at $600-800 a night and a casino. Large parcels of land in Manchangula have also been allocated to agricultural investors from Eastern Transvaal. Local communities in Blanchard's concessionary area will be expropriated; in the words of his general manager, John Perrot:

"We gonna come here and say [to the local villagers] `Okay, now you're in a national park. Your village can either get fenced or you can have them wild animals walking right through your main street'" (Eddie Koch, >em>op. cit.)

In this scramble for territory, the Mozambican government agreed to hand over several million hectares of so-called "unused land" to a religious organization, the Dutch based Maharashi Heaven on Earth Company. President Chissano is a devotee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Natural Law Party. Since the signing of the agreement in July 1993, however, the government seems to have backtracked on the deal stating that the Maharashi Church would "be treated like any other foreign investor, no more, no less".

Carving up the National Territory

An autonomous territory, "a State within a State" is being developed initially in Niassa province; Mosagrius (overriding the national and provincial governments) is the sole authority concerning the utilisation rights of land in its concessionary areas (clause 34); similarly the territory is defined as a free trade zone allowing for the unimpeded movement of goods, capital and people (meaning White South Africans). All investments in the concessionary areas "will be free from customs duties, or other fiscal impositions" (Clause 35.2 of the Mosagrius Agreement, op. cit).

In turn with concessions granted to foreign investors in various parts of the country, the national territory is once again being carved up into a number of separate "corridors" reminiscent of the colonial period. This system of territorial concessions --with each of the corridors integrated separately into the world market-- tends to favours the demise of the national economy.

In turn, the donors have required (in the name of "governance"), the down-sizing of the central State and the "decentralisation" of decision-making to the provincial and district levels. Rather than providing added powers and resources to regional and local communities, State revenues will be channelled towards servicing Mozambique's external debt. The "decentralisation" scheme is predicated on fiscal austerity under the structural adjustment programme leading to a weakening of both the central and regional governments.

The decline of the Mozambican State apparatus as well the fragmentation of the national economy favours the transformation of entire regions of the country (eg. Niassa province) into concessionary areas or "corridors" under the political custody of donors, non-governmental organisations and foreign investors. The latter constitute a de facto "parallel government" which increasingly bypasses the State system. Moreover, in several areas in Northern Mozambique, the former pro-Apartheid rebel group Renamo (which has also established its links to the donors) is formally in command of local government. In the war's aftermath, several Renamo leaders have become "business partners" of South African companies investing in Mozambique, including SACADA sponsored investments: "It would appear that there is a secret understanding as part of the [1992] Peace Agreement that Renamo and its backers will get land" (Hanlon, op. cit.)

Land Reform in South Africa

The ANC has championed (without serious debate or discussion) the granting of "Land to the Boers" in neighbouring countries as a means of relieving land pressures within South Africa. The policy is said to facilitate the ANC's land redistribution programme in favour of Black farmers led by the controversial Minister of Land Affairs Derek Hanekom. Despite its merits, the Land Reform Programme is unlikely to succeed. Its implementation has been undermined from the outset by the post-Apartheid government's sweeping macro-economic reforms under the neoliberal policy agenda.

The ANC government's proposed "economic medicine" is outlined in a Minstry of Finance June 1996 document entitled: "Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macro-Economic Framework". In addition to the standard therapies (budget deficit reduction, devaluation of the Rand, privatisation of State assets) the task force (integrated by two economists on loan from the World Bank), called for:

"reduced minimum wage schedules for young trainees, reducing indirect wage costs; and increasing the incentives for more job sharing and greater employment flexibility; and a social agreement to facilitate wage and price moderation..."

The policy document (which has been adopted by the ANC government) insists upon a "regulated flexibility in managing the labour market" which translates into "creating employment" by breaking down wage agreements and collective bargaining... Despite the ANC's pledge to build the New South Africa based on racial and social equality, the Macro-Economic Framework largely serves to reinforce the structures of Apartheid.

In rural South Africa, the removal of agricultural subsidies, the deregulation of credit and trade liberalisation (which is part of the Macro-economic Framework) have not only contributed to the further impoverishment of Black small-holders and tenant farmers, the measures have also pushed numerous White Afrikaner family farms into bankruptcy. Pretoria's structural adjustment programme thereby favours an even greater concentration of farmland than during the Apartheid regime as well as the consolidation of corporate agriculture both within and beyond South Africa's borders.

Concluding Remarks

The Boers "Second Great Trek" to neighbouring countries does not contribute to facilitating Land Reform within South Africa. In fact the policy accomplishes exactly the opposite results: it maintains Black farmers in marginal lands under the old system of segregation; it reinforces corporate control over the best farmland while also providing a political avenue to Afrikaner agri-business for "exporting Apartheid" to the entire Southern African region.

Moreover, the transfer of nominal political power by the Apartheid regime in 1994 rather than restraining the White dominated economic system, has in fact created the pre-conditions for its advancement both within South Africa and the region. In the New South Africa, the "export of Apartheid" is now tagged as "foreign aid".

The ANC's political motivations in this regard are unclear. The dominant ANC viewpoint, reflected by Nelson Mandela's statements, is that by diverting the Boers from the domestic arena, the post-Apartheid government will gain time and space for carrying out major social transformations within South Africa.

In our opinion, this position is largely mistaken. The application of "strong economic medicine" (ie. devaluation, job lay offs, market deregulation, austerity measures, etc.) under the neoliberal agenda, has gone hand in hand with de the facto reinforcement of Apartheid as an economic system. In other words, the plight of the Black majority has worsened largely as a result of the post-Apartheid economic reforms.

South Africa's dominant economic and financial interests allied with international corporate capital are firmly behind these economic reforms. Moreover, the latter could not have been carried out during the Apartheid era with the same coherence, political legitimacy and international support. While Apartheid is officially defunct, its economic structures live on, now fused and blended into the structural adjustment programme. The international community has supported this process; the IMF and the World Bank which supported the government of Frederick de Klerck is now directly involved in advising the ANC government on macro-economic reform:

"From exile, the ANC condemned the IMF for propping up apartheid. The IMF then assisted the regime with its increasingly neoliberal economic policies during the late 1980s, and designed South Africa's Value Added Tax during the early 1990s, leading to mass popular protest. In 1993 the IMF granted a large loan which included secret "conditionalities" that ensured that a democratic South Africa would not waver from inherited undemocratic economic policies, as well as informal conditions that the new government retain the National Party Finance Minister and Reserve Bank governor" (Statement by the Campaign Against Neoliberalism in South Africa (CANSA), On the South African Visit by IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus", 16 October 1996.

"Democratisation" and "economic liberalisation" seem to go hand in hand. Despite the ANC's commitment to social transformation, the government's reforms under the neoliberal policy agenda, are serving the economic interests of those who most actively supported the Apartheid regime as well as members of the Afrikaner political establishment who were directly involved in Apartheid's "dirty war".

Michel Chossudovsky

Department of Economics,
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, K1N6N5

Fax: 1-613-7892050
E-Mail: chosso@travel-net.com

Alternative fax: 1-613-5625999

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