Minister Pandor reiterates firm stance on fair trade and Western bullying

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. | Jacoline Schoonees/DIRCO

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. | Jacoline Schoonees/DIRCO

Published Jul 27, 2023


Johannesburg - Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor has once again called for South Africa to take a firm stance against the bullying tactics of Western countries.

Pandor, who is part of the delegation that includes President Cyril Ramaphosa for the Russia-Africa Summit currently under way in St Petersburg, added that there needs to be fair trade so that the world is not held hostage by one system.

She said the world's financial systems and institutions must not be politicised. But there must be fairness in world trade.

Pandor, who was being interviewed by the suspended Russian TV (RT), said there must also be diversity in the financial system around the world, adding that the continent should not be blamed for its relationship with Russia, which has been built over many years.

‘’Africa has built up its relationship with Russia over many years. It is a very important relationship for us, particularly South Africa, given the role that the people of Russia played in our own struggle for freedom.’’

‘’From time to time, the UN has been used to further political ends. It has been used as a weapon by some against others. We need to end that. I think having diversity in structures and mechanisms allows for democratic processes,’’ she said.

She also called for the continent to realise that the time has come for its leaders to take a firm stand on issues of international importance.

‘’The time has come for the continent to realise that it has the possibility of being an extremely powerful part of the world, and we need to be far more in control of our own capabilities and resources, and we should manage them in the interests of the continent.’’

Pandor said African leaders should do away with the notion that the continent owes Western countries and their leaders something. She said this notion shows a new wave of colonisation.

‘’I know there is this notion that Africa owes someone something. This is a Neo-colonial idea. We need to begin to understand our own power and use it to good effect for Africa. Even those who claim to be our friends have really exploited the resources of the continent.’’

‘’Colonialism was about resources. It was about extraction. No oppressor will change the situation of oppression, but it is we who can do that. I think we need to develop a different relationship with our resources,’’ she told Russia TV.

She added that there must be fairness and diversity in world trade, calling for African leaders to form partnerships that favour and not exploit the continent, as the continent has suffered enough exploitation by Western countries.

Ramaphosa arrived in St. Petersburg on Wednesday to join other leaders from Africa. He is expected to join other African leaders for talks on issues affecting the continent and other issues at a summit that is held every three years.

The Star