Hul onversadigde mag na beheer, kontrole en minerale – wat ook die vervaardiging van wapens insluit. Heelwat tenders is al in Afrika geplaas en bekende swart leiers is gebruik om tenders te bekom vir die bou van infrastruktuur vir die Chinese.
They want land and they want control. China’s hunger for natural resources has set off a global commodity boom. Developed countries worry about being left high and dry, but the biggest effects will be felt in China itself. Is their own country too small? polluted? or is it minerals?
Is belangrik om te weet wat om jou aangaan … en wat gister en eergister gebeur het, is vandag geskiedenis… more is daar weer ‘n skip op die horison en dan is daar nog ‘n stukkie geskiedenis wat aangeteken word.
BESIDE the railroad track, between two hillocks of rust-red soil in the midst of Congo’s mining belt, three Chinese labourers appear as if from nowhere. There are lots of Chinese around these days, explains one of their compatriots, Harvey Lee, who is driving through the scrub to the nearby copper plant he runs for a Canadian metals firm. On his way, he points out several rudimentary smelters. “That one”, he says, waving at a clump of corrugated-iron sheds and belching chimneys, “is owned by a man from Shanghai.”
Moments later, when another ramshackle compound comes into view, he adds, “and that one belongs to two ladies from Hong Kong.” In all, he reckons, Chinese entrepreneurs have set up half of Lubumbashi’s 50-odd processing plants. All around Lubumbashi, the capital of Congo’s copper-rich province of Katanga, there are signs of a sudden Chinese invasion. Chinese middlemen have begun buying ore from the area’s many wildcat miners and selling it on to processing plants like Mr Lee’s. Locals point out several villas in the city’s leafy colonial cantonment that are occupied by mysterious Chinese businessmen. Katanga Fried Chicken, hitherto Lubumbashi’s most popular restaurant, now has three busy Chinese competitors.
If all goes according to plan, these fledgling businesses will soon be overshadowed by Chinese investment on a much grander scale. In late 2007 the Congolese government announced that Chinese state-owned firms would build or refurbish various railways, roads and mines around the country at a cost of $12 billion, in exchange for the right to mine copper ore of an equivalent value. That sum is more than three times Congo’s annual national budget and roughly ten times the aid that the “consultative group” of Western donors has promised the country each year until 2010. The Chinese authorities, it seems, are so anxious to obtain enough minerals to sustain their country’s remarkable economic growth that they are willing to invest billions in a dirt-poor and war-torn place like Congo—billions more, in fact, than Western governments and investors combined are putting in.
Some non-governmental organisations worry that Chinese firms will ignore basic legal, environmental and labour standards in their rush to secure resources, leaving a trail of corruption, pollution and exploitation in their wake. Western companies fret that the Chinese state-owned firms with which they suddenly find themselves competing have an agenda beyond commercial gain. The Chinese government, they say, is willing to pay over the odds for mining or drilling rights to secure access to physical resources. It also intervenes unfairly on its companies’ behalf, they claim, by offering big aid packages to countries that welcome Chinese investment. All this, it is feared, will dent the profits of big oil and mining firms, stoke inflation and imperil the West’s access to resources that it needs just as much as China does.
Nonetheless, this special report will argue that concerns about the dire consequences of China’s quest for natural resources are overblown. China does indeed treat some dictators with kid gloves, but it is hardly alone in that. Its companies do not always uphold the highest standards, but again, many Western firms are no angels either. Fifty years of European and American aid have not succeeded in bringing much prosperity to Africa and other poor but resource-rich places. A different approach from China might yield better results. At the very least it will spur other donors to seek more effective methods.
For all the hue and cry, China is still just one of many countries looking for raw materials around the world. It has won most influence in countries where Western governments were conspicuous by their absence, and where few important strategic interests are at stake. Moreover, as China is becoming more involved in places such as Congo, its policies are beginning to change. It has promised to co-operate with the World Bank in its development efforts in Africa. It no longer seems prepared to back its most objectionable allies in the face of international opprobrium. Its diplomats, for example, did eventually stop parroting their line about unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and allow United Nations peacekeepers to be deployed in Sudan.
Since 2005 and even before
The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) also responded, saying the National Assembly entertaining the debate was “alarming”.
“Any nationalisation of banks will have a direct impact on stability, and will seriously undermine what fragile levels of confidence remain in our economy and society,” BASA said in a statement.
Malema: The Chinese Government owns more than 20 Banks. Thus includes the industrial and commercially Bank of China.
LIMPOPO (MALEMA) AND OTHER INVOLVED