Although concern regarding the non-renewal of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) because of South Africa’s neutral stance towards Russia is of great concern, it cannot be looked at in isolation. The global geopolitical landscape is changing and so is the situation on the Ukrainian battlefront.
Twenty countries have reportedly applied to join BRICS, with five new members expected to be inducted during the BRICS summit in August. BRICS is also working on a BRICS currency which will bypass trade in US dollars.
Russia and South Africa are members of BRICS, so politically Russia and South Africa are tied, so the expectation that South Africa should align with the US against Russia would be problematic for South Africa.
The war in Ukraine is not going well for Ukraine and the US. The much anticipated Ukrainian counter offensive is not going as successfully as Kyiv had hoped and has so far not broken through the Russian defences, while Russia has made some advances.
The fact that the Western media is reporting the afore-mentioned is a testament as to how things are not going well for Ukraine. Military analysts who are looking at the war in realistic terms are saying that Ukraine cannot win the war.
Ukraine did not get an invitation to join Nato at the recent Nato summit in Vilnius. They got promises of continued support from the West, which is what has been happening since the conflict began.
Ukraine got nothing additional from the Vilnius summit and is losing men and armour in large numbers on the battlefield.
President Biden has admitted that the US is running out of ammunition and is supplementing 155mm artillery shells with cluster munitions, which has raised concerns about the impact of unexploded bomblets on civilians.
Taking all of the above into consideration, South Africa should not change its neutral stance. The US could cut and run in Ukraine as it did in Afghanistan, and South Africa will still have to deal with Russia on a bilateral level and via
* Ghalied Geduldt, Maitland.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.