SA awaits US poll result with bated breath
Cape Town - The results of Tuesday’s election in the US will be significant for South Africa and in particular the Western Cape, according to security and Africa studies expert, Ntsikelelo Breakfast.
“The election will see either the incumbent president, Donald Trump and his inward-looking America first policies re-elected, or power will shift to the pro-globalisation and liberal former vice-president Joe Biden.
“The outcome of the US election is very important for us. Trump has been generally non-committal when it comes to Africa. Unlike his recent predecessors Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton, he has not even bothered to visit Africa himself.
“In South Africa we only felt his presence when he tweeted about land issues a few years ago. Trump’s domestic and international policy has been one of protectionism in trade and his trade wars with China have hurt us, affecting the rand and our GDP.”
Acting consul-general at the US Consulate in Cape Town, Will Stevens, said: “Trade between the US and the Western Cape is robust, reciprocal, and growing. In fact, the US is the top foreign direct investor in the Western Cape.
“US companies, big and small, invest in the province, create jobs, and contribute to local communities. These economic and commercial ties reflect the strength of our broader relationship and our close co-operation to promote the health, dignity, safety, and educational and economic advancement of all South Africans.”
Stevens’s immediate predecessor, Virginia Blaser, who left the country a week ago, said: “South Africa’s Cape provinces are full of incredible examples of how much our two nations can accomplish when we work together, particularly in times of crisis.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic reached South Africa, the US gave more than R745 million in support of South Africa’s Covid-19 response.
“Bilateral trade between the US and the Western Cape is reciprocal and valued at almost R17 billion, a 335% increase since 2001. The US is the top foreign direct investor in the Western Cape and US private sector investments have created over 10 000 jobs in the province in the past 15 years.”
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The US remains one of our key source markets in the Western Cape, with 3.4% of international visitors to the Western Cape coming from the US in 2019.”