Malema: SA gets nothing from Chinese investors

2011-04-11 00:00

CAPE TOWN — ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has criticised Chinese investment in South Africa and questioned South African involvement with the trading bloc of Brazil, Russia India and China (Bric).

Speaking at a South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) dinner in Cape Town on Friday, Malema joked about Chinese investors.

“At least with the colonisers [of the past] they utilised our people, although the working conditions were not better. But these ones, they don’t give you even labour. They just open a Chinatown on their arrival and then they provide everything,” he said.

On a more serious note, Malema said the advert stating South Africa is the gateway to Africa should be scrapped, because “it is just making us vulnerable”.

“People use us to get into Africa, take mineral resources raw as they are and leave South Africa, or Africa. The Chinese are number one in doing that.

“In South Africa, the good thing we appreciate about the Chinese, some of us, is that politically we are able to engage with them and politically we must be able to say to them you are going to trade with us on condition you comply [with] our laws …

“But … now, we are not able, because they don’t just come and take our minerals raw as they are. They also bring labour. You are literally not getting anything out of Chinese involvement.”

On the invitation for South Africa to join the Bric trading bloc, Malema said, “I’m still to be convinced what becomes the role of South Africa in Bric, because those countries, both in terms of population and the size of their economies, we are nowhere close to those people.”

He warned the rich of Johannesburg that the poor will rise up against them if they do not take the lead in upliftment.

He said residents in Alexandra are on the verge of crossing the road to revolt against those in Sandton, which is why the rich should be first “to free these people from poverty”.

Responding to a question, Malema said the fact that he lives in Sandton is not of interest, “What is of interest, is my [political] awareness.”

He told the Jewish students they are welcome to join the ANC. “Whether you are a capitalist or a racist … once you are inside the ANC we’ll teach you.”

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