Mailbox: South Africa has no friends – it only has interests, catastrophic for pensioners

Submitted by BizNews community member Zirk Gous*

The allegations of weapon deliveries to Russia – factual or not – is catastrophic for pensioners in South Africa.

It is incomprehensible that the hawks which dictate our foreign relations do not understand the primary principle in foreign relations: a country does not have friends – it only has interests.

The allegations of weapon delivery to Russia plus the Russian maritime exercises plus the landing of the Russian aircraft plus all the pro-Russian resolutions and statements occurred against the background of a microscopic trade with Russia – less that 0.5% of our international trade. South Africa has no interest in a relationship with Russia – only an ideological past.

Against above South Africa enjoys a preferential customs arrangement with the USA. This facilitates the export of 5000 odd products to the value of R177.89 billion – 7.5% of our exports. This enables 66 000 direct jobs and another 425 000 job opportunities. South Africa and 425 000 hungry mouths have a massive interest in maintaining good relations with the USA – even if the well-fed hawks dislike it.

The ideological obsession with Russia not only puts South Africa and its workers but also the South African pensioners at catastrophic risk. The weapon allegations triggered a major off-load of South African shares. Pension growth is dependent on share growth – which now is at risk.

The sad reality for state pensioners is the following:

  • In 2023 we received a pension increase of 75% only of the inflation rate and we pointed fingers to the mismanagement of the government pensions
  • We should not be disillusioned and expect a better increase for 2024.
  • For that we should thank the mismanagement of our international relations

*Zirk Gous

Spokesperson, AMAGP*

*AMAGP: Association for the Monitoring and Advocacy of Government Pensions

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