South African Pakistanis enormously contributing to country’s economy | Pakistan Today

South African Pakistanis enormously contributing to country’s economy

Pakistanis living in South Africa are fast becoming part and parcel of its society because of their enormous contribution in the business development, trade growth, national integration, cultural enrichment and inter-faith harmony of the country.
All credit goes to Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), an important opposition party in South Africa, led by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who helped a lot of Pakistanis to merge into its social strata by introducing friendly policies.
During his tenure in the government as head of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Pakistani businessmen and qualified skilled people were vouchsafed with SA nationality in recognition of their rigorous and meritorious services for reshaping South Africa into rising star.
In an exclusive interview with IFP President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, an anti-apartheid icon like Nelson Mandela told Pakistan Today that Pakistan was amongst the countries that lent a great help to people of South Africa against the apartheid regime. “We cannot forget Pakistan’s overwhelming support for freedom movement and SA will always commemorate it as friend in need is a friend indeed,” he said.
To a question, he criticised the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) for not deepening relations with Pakistan as compared to India, Brazil, Canada, China and other countries. The IFP president proposed robust exchange of delegations comprising statesmen, politicians, traders and other section of society between South Africa and Pakistan to foster bilateral ties, saying the SA government should never overlook mutual relations with Pakistan as later was becoming a force to be reckoned as game-changer in near future due to its geo-political and socio-economic position in Asia.
“I will also speak about improving relations with Pakistan in parliament session,” he said, adding that if invited, it would be an honour for him to visit Pakistan to bring closer both countries.
To a query, he got aggrieved and expressed his anxiety on widespread anti-foreign riots in which Pakistani community was targeted by setting ablaze their shops and even residences.
“South Africans, angry at squalid living conditions, resorted to violence and subjected Pakistani expatriates and other foreigners to torture, a reminder of the social problems that persisted 20 years after the release of Nelson Mandela. Local media reported that the Ethiopian, Pakistani and Indian shopkeepers whose premises were looted had to take refuge vacating their houses. Innumerable people were killed in a wave of anti-foreigner riots that swept across the country in 2008. Johannesburg became a flashpoint during widespread demonstrations against poor public services in Africa’s biggest economy. Many poor black South Africans complained that their lives did not improve since ANC swept to power in 1994, promising to provide jobs, housing and medical care for all. Despite a decade of strong economic growth up to 2009, official unemployment remained higher millions of blacks still live in tin-shack shanty towns with little access to running water, sanitation or electricity and other civic amenities,” he said.
He blamed the ANC for all predicaments of the foreigners as well as SA nationals due to its false promises, ill-conceived policies and vested interests. “Since the day the ANC seized power, cancer of corruption that infused into the norms, values and practices had started spilling-over into broader society. The ANC is on the loose to abuse public office for private gain.”
He said, “Public officials bend the rules to channel patronage to relatives, friends and cronies, or accept bribes; as well when private agents bribe public officials to give them exclusive advantages or rights. Secondly, there is the ‘quiet’ corruption, which occurs when ANC public servants deliberately neglect their duties to provide public services or goods,” he added. He said corruption undermined the credibility of the democratic system – it also undermined ordinary peoples’ trust in the government, and undermined the rule of law. Now people believed that the government was not pursuing the reforms in the widest public interest, but only to line the pockets of a few leaders.
Asked about the topic of single mothers, he said that this was because of more regeneration corrupting the society in all its forms. Shedding a light on the burning issue, he held the view that South Africa was predominantly a patriarchal society and children had consequently suffered greatly due to absent fathers. “Men not facing their patriarchal responsibility have a profound effect on the collective consciousness of next generations of South Africans,” he added.
“More concretely, effects of divorce on South African children include the increasing possibility for child exploitation. The increase of single parenthood in South Africa resulted to more orphans and street children as single parents opt to abandon their children because of extreme poverty. Single women parents feel the stigma of being poor and unmarried, widowed or divorced and are under extreme pressure from the society. Single mothers who are looking for ways to support their children and who are very much willing to take huge risks to put some bread on the table are very vulnerable to prostitution and trafficking,” Prince Buthelezi explained.
Showing his disquiet on the fast-depleting middleclass in South Africa, he said the poor were becoming poorer and rich were becoming richer. His Excellency came hard on the proposed nationalisation policy and termed it a bad move, saying if it was materialised, SA would go backwards and not forward.
About South Africa’s future, he said South Africa was an extraordinary country endowed with extraordinary people and a wealth of resources. “If South Africa is going to be the twenty-first century success story that we all know it can be, bold change is needed now,” he claimed. He said South Africa needed to win the wars against HIV/AIDS, unemployment, crime, poverty and corruption and prevent the consolidation of a one-party state.
Talking about the IFP’s manifesto, he said the IFP ensuring capable leadership in government, would care resources and protect highest ethical and moral standards. IFP will propel a golden cycle of accelerated economic growth, which in turn would beget jobs and reduce the spiralling levels of poverty and crime. In parliament the IFP will continue to champion federalism and decentralisation of power between the three spheres of government: national, provincial and local. The IFP has a two-pronged approach in dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, namely prevention and caring for those infected.
“The IFP’s vision for South Africa is as a high wage/high skill economy. We will transform South Africa’s economy by developing our skills base. We will offer a regulatory and fiscal environment that is attractive to foreign investment. We will make investments to develop our long-term industrial basis,” he added.
The IFP recognises that women have a very important role to fulfill in the transformation of South Africa toward social stability and economic prosperity. In a democracy, the participation of every individual is equally important and the IFP believes that success requires that women take up their position as contributors at all levels of decision making. “The government’s centralist policies do not allow for the full participation of all South Africans and results in large segments of our communities being bulldozed into accepting policies which are unsuited to their unique needs. The IFP wishes to rectify this situation through the devolution of powers to the lowest levels possible. The IFP president said the youth policy of the IFP encouraged strong families and communities, positive role models, individual and communal self-reliance and the promotion of social justice. An IFP led government will encourage and promote healthy lifestyles and high moral values among the youth, and focus on the immediate and long-term dangers of alcoholism, unwanted pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, prostitution, drug and other substance abuses, he concluded.

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