Cuba debt write-off a dubious decision – DA

The government’s decision to write off R1.1 billion of debt owed by Cuba raised questions about the priorities and objectives of the Zuma administration, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said today.

“One has to wonder what the Zuma administration wishes to achieve by buying better relations with Cuba,” DA foreign affairs spokesperson Kenneth Mubu said.

It was not clear what South Africa could gain by seeking to improve trade with the Caribbean island state “as it is well documented that Cuba possesses a failing economy” and lacked the capacity to become a big importer.
South Africa’s total export volume to Cuba so far this year came to R1 billion.

Mubu said Pretoria was not promoting a sensible foreign policy either by building ties with one of the world’s last remaining socialist states.

“We are also not supporting our ostensibly principled foreign policy objectives by supporting a regime that relies on nepotistic promotion for national leadership instead of open and democratic participation.”

South Africa in 2008 wrote off R900 million of debt owed by Cuba.

Yesterday, President Jacob Zuma announced at the end of a two-day state visit to Cuba that the government was writing off R1.1 billion in debt, and giving it guarantees and aid worth a few hundred million rand.

This includes a R40 million donation to help Cuba buy seeds and fertiliser following a hurricane in 2008, R70 million in credit guarantees and R100 million from the African Renaissance Fund for purchases of South African goods.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
55% - 3284 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 1027 votes
No, I've never experienced this
27% - 1614 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.28
(-0.1)
GBP/ZAR
19.90
(-0.2)
EUR/ZAR
17.15
(-0.4)
AUD/ZAR
11.02
(-0.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.2)
Gold
1,779.65
(+0.1)
Silver
25.90
(+0.3)
Platinum
1,188.50
(-0.1)
Brent Crude
66.57
(-0.7)
Palladium
2,787.00
(+0.8)
All Share
66,578
(-0.4)
Top 40
60,890
(-0.4)
Financial 15
12,069
(-0.8)
Industrial 25
86,028
(-0.5)
Resource 10
68,532
(-0.1)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo