Mandela legacy safe – Trevor Manuel

2013-06-25 10:10

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

International investors need not worry about South Africa’s future when former statesman Nelson Mandela eventually dies, as his legacy will be safeguarded, Planning Minister Trevor Manuel has said.

The 94-year old Mandela is critically ill with a recurring lung infection.

Many investors and economists fear that the death of Mandela, often considered the moral compass of the ruling ANC party, will embolden the ANC’s radical elements, such as those who criticise him for making too many concessions to the white minority or others who call for nationalising the giant mining industry.

“There have been concerns expressed, unjustifiably, about what happens when Nelson Mandela is no longer with us,” Manuel told Reuters yesterday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference held to launch a report on the validity of an annual World Bank business survey.

Manuel noted that Mandela’s health had been deteriorating, so his role is already diminished.

“It is a deep and profound tragedy, but one that in many ways we have been close to and thinking about for many months ... but over the past year he hasn’t been able to play the advisory role of a patriarch,” he said.

“It is up to us (to see) his legacy lives on. Whether he is physically here or not, it is his legacy we have to protect.”

Mandela’s illness has coincided with a storm of events for South Africa, which is seeing investors flee its bond markets as domestic worries over chronic labour unrest coincide with a withdrawal of liquidity by the US Federal Reserve.

Many have criticised the government for lack of progress in implementing key reforms in an economy which is grappling with shortages of power, poor healthcare and high unemployment.

Manuel, who was known for his prudent fiscal stance as finance minister, now oversees the National Development Plan, a blueprint for future development. The plan has been under fire from union leaders and communists who have attacked it for placing too much emphasis on private capital.

Manuel said the plan would be debated and he predicted that, in coming months, there would be advances on several fronts such as with civil service, education and on anti-corruption. But he said the plan would be implemented.

“Even as we work through all these issues, there is no holding off on the plan until some cataclysmic event happens.”

Manuel, meanwhile, said it was natural that South Africa, like other emerging markets, was feeling the impact of the Fed’s stimulus-withdrawal process.

“It’s a fact, there are very few safe havens left. There was a time South Africa was seen as one of the safe havens ... We will continue to see periods of uncertainty, but at some point people will start looking for value,” he added.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.