Ms. Zulu proposes foreign competitors share trade secrets with SA counterparts
“In an interview on Monday she said foreign business owners had an advantage over South African business owners in townships. This was because local business owners had been marginalised and been offered poor education and a lack of opportunities under apartheid.
“Foreigners need to understand that they are here as a courtesy and our priority is to the people of this country first and foremost. A platform is needed for business owners to communicate and share ideas. They cannot barricade themselves in and not share their practices with local business owners,” Ms Zulu said.”
Research fellow at the SA Institute for International Affairs Peter Draper said Ms Zulu’s remarks, underscored government’s mistrust of foreign investors which was also reflected in business regulations. “If you connect this to the broader picture, essentially this is part of a thrust to single out foreign business, which is contrary to the political message President Jacob Zuma went to portray in Davos. We are at a tipping point and we are going beyond it. You can only push foreign business so far before they disengage,” he said.Mr Draper agreed with Ms Zulu’s remarks on the effect of apartheid on local business owners in townships but said foreign business owners had to confront their own challenges with little state support.
“Apartheid did disadvantage black people and over generations it inhibited social capital. Many foreigners have trading entrenched in their blood. Wherever they go they bring social capital, networks and extended family. Is that unfair? I don’t think so. That’s life,” he said.
Ms Zulu’s comments show the about-turn in the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) ideology of Pan Africanism and in line with remarks by party leaders.
After a week of looting in Soweto last week, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told residents in Doornkop that immigration laws needed to be strengthened to protect the country from terror.