Align SA foreign policy with world: ANC

By Drum Digital
20 March 2012

South Africa needs to make sure its foreign policy is in line with the world, according to the ANC's draft policy discussion document on international relations.

"The ANC does not believe South Africa can live in isolation... [the] outside world has an impact on South Africa," the party's international relations sub-committee member Lindiwe Zulu told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"What can we do to make sure [South African] international relations has a positive impact on the world?"

The African National Congress was discussing its policy discussion documents with the media.

Zulu said an important issue covered in the policy discussion document was a balance of forces.

"There is a scramble for African resources. We need to ensure the resources are a benefit to African people," she said.

According to the document, Africa was increasingly mortgaging its economic future prospects to meet and feed the high consumption patterns in Asia and the West.

"Africa's mineral and marine resources, oil and agricultural land are particularly targeted in these neo-imperialist economic relations," the ANC said.

Zulu said there had to be a strengthening of institutions and leadership within Africa.

"We need to be realistic about our own needs.... The African Renaissance is alive."

There needed to be continental and international solidarity.

"It is important for the ANC to support such people," she said.

The ANC acknowledged South Africa was not an island, and that it coexisted with troubled countries such as Libya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, the Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Madagascar.

"We can't prosper when countries around it are collapsing," said Zulu.

The ANC also talked about re-energising Africa. Economic diplomacy was also an important issue. There was a need to build connections between international relations and domestic interests.

"It's one thing to be talking politics... at the end of the day people need jobs and food on the table," said Zulu. "We need to attract investment into South Africa."

Zulu said the ANC discussion document called for the transformation of international institutions such as the G20 and the United Nations.

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