Tags: America's Forum | Daniel Silke | South Africa | progress

South African Analyst: 20 Years of Progress But More Needed

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2015 01:13 PM

South African economic and political analyst Daniel Silke tells Newsmax TV that since the end of apartheid there has been progress in South Africa, but there are still unfulfilled promises.

"There's been progress in South Africa in 20 years. We've provided basic social services to 40 million South Africans that simply did not enjoy the same benefits as the small 5 million white minority over the previous 50, 100, 200 years," Silke told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Tuesday.

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"We've had to suddenly bridge that gap between the haves and the have nots in South Africa by providing this kind of social service to the majority of South Africans," he said.

"We've rolled out housing, we've rolled out electricity, we've rolled out clean water, we created job opportunities in a sense for many South Africans," he said. 

"South Africa has done some things correct, but it really hasn't fulfilled its complete promise and hope that we had 20 years ago," he added.

Silke, who is also an author, lecturer and renowned futurist, said that one aspect that has "discouraged investment into South Africa is a complex and difficult labor regime in the country."

"When we look overall at South Africa, South Africa is not an island unto itself. It's a very competitive global economy," he said, adding that there is a lot of competition "for foreign direct investment."

"Our trade unions are quite militant — we have a lot of strikes and we lose a lot of productive days to strike action in the country. And that's one of the key issues why there perhaps is a reluctance to invest in South Africa," he said.

This causes investors to look elsewhere, such as Mauritius, Ethiopia, South America and Southeast Asia.

"South Africa really has to have competitive economic policies that make the country attractive for foreign investors," he said. "I'm not convinced we're as competitive in that sense as we really should be."

According to Silke, China is one of the countries that has shown an interest in the South African economy.

"We've got a very advanced domestic economy that, to a degree, makes entry into South Africa more difficult for outsiders," he said

"Nevertheless, there's growing interest from China, particularly in our minerals and mining sector and even in our financial services sector as well.

"Our current president, President [Jacob] Zuma, is a lot closer to China politically, and South Africa of course now is part of this BRICS group of nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and now South Africa," he added.

"This club of nations brings South Africa a lot closer to all of those nations in terms of attracting investment," Silke said.

One problem that South Africa doesn't have to contend with is terrorism, the South African political economist said.

"We've got problems of unemployment, we've got problems of industrial unrest, but we do not, fortunately, have problems relating to terrorism and particularly the al-Shabaab or Boko Haram style of terrorism that we have seen in other parts of the African continent," he said.

"South Africa does now form part of a peacekeeping force, an international peacekeeping force on the African continent, but fortunately it's not an issue for us and let's hope it remains as such," he added.

South Africa lived under the apartheid system for more than 40 years, which was government rule based on racism, extreme segregation and the exploitation of cheap labor in the decades following World War II.

The apartheid system ended in the early 1990s through extensive negotiations that began after anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, and the ban was lifted on the African National Congress. Mandela, who went on to be elected as South Africa's first black president in 1994, died in 2013.

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South African economic and political analyst Daniel Silke tells Newsmax TV that since the end of apartheid there has been progress in South Africa, but there are still unfulfilled promises.
Daniel Silke, South Africa, progress
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 01:13 PM
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