A few months ago an illegal coupé tat removed the legitimate elected President of Ukraine. An unlawful pro-western regime was moved into authority without any democratic process. Europe, Britain and the West, desperate to thwart Russian influence recognised the illegitimate authority. Since many Ukrainians are ethnic Russians, a climate for civil and future cold war was generated.
Over the past months President Zuma has been busy mixing with the leaders of the BRIC nations which include Brazil, Russia, India and China. Recently Zuma mingled with the USA and the rest of Africa developing bilateral relations and arguing for the extension of preferential economic relation.
While this develops, the USA and Europe is applying sanctions to Russia. In return Russia responded with its own sanctions. Politics like economics can be intricate and absurd at the same time. Example, the conflicts in the Middle East have the American pitted against the Russians. Both protagonists supply arms and military strategies to various factions. Is this scenario, the irony is that Arabs are doing the fighting and dying? It is the cold war all over again, the only variance is geography. Instead of South East Asia (Vietnam and Korea) this time it is the Middle East (Iraq and Syria).
President Zuma is playing a great strategy of drawing investment to South Africa. Since the state cannot defend locals against gangsters on the Cape Flats, it is obvious that combat is not our forte. Our military adventure into Central African Republic provided that evidence.
We are more suited to hosting bilateral gatherings, economic summits and shaking hands. We have learnt that conflict leaves everyone poorer. That is one reason why the City of Cape Town is spending huge sums of ratepayer’s money on building a bigger convention centre.
President Zuma has moved South Africa into that political space that even when the Americans and Russians fight thru proxy, they can both invest in the South African project. Since few people know what the outcome in the Middle East will be; attracting Arab money towards South Africa is important. Massive European and American support of Israel against unarmed Palestinians may yet work in our favour. Arabs grasp the hypocrisy and need a safe and ethical space for their money.
Since increasing racism in Europe and the USA against both Arabs and Jews, locals must encourage the migration of Arab and Jew money to South Africa. They need safety and we need money. Capetonians can teach Arabs and Jews how different races and religions co-exist – multiculturalism.
Arabs and Jews who holiday in Europe and America must be encouraged to spend their money in Cape Town. Tourism brings money and jobs. While this analyses my sound macabre, most conflicts evolve around greed. Although we have problems, because of Apartheid, South Africa must remain the moral conscious of the world.
Since Russia stopped importing European cheese and wine, local farmers must exploit the prospect and market our products in Russia. Since Europe is cut off from Russian gas, we should invite the Germans to develop our offshore gas potential.
In the words of the wise, a pessimist sees the difficulty in opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in difficulty.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress