Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, members in the House and distinguished guests, the ANC supports this budget.
The ANC will give clarity because we don't have spokespersons along the lines of Cope. We will definitely be able to clarify ourselves. Do we have policies or don't we have policies? We do! Definitely, in your experience, while you were a member of the ANC, you would have understood that what guided all of us are the conferences of the ANC; it is not just about individuals.
What is important for us today, and what is important in what you are saying is that you have not acknowledged the changing dynamics of global politics and its impact on our country and our continent. That is what has to inform your criticism of how our economic policies are being exercised, and how we interact with those around the world. It is very important that you should be able to reflect on that. Luckily, you understood that we have been together in Israel and wherever, so you do understand what we are talking about.
We have two to three resolutions that come from the ANC, not from individuals. The one resolution deals with transformation and global governance. I hope you will be able to find that, otherwise I will donate it to you when I have finished. It is about the United Nations. The ANC is committed to the reform of the UN Security Council, to make it more democratic, accountable and representative.
The ANC continues to advocate the expansion of the UN Security Council in both permanent and nonpermarnent categories in improving its working methods. It supports the demand for two permanent seats for Africa. The ANC encourages the AU to reinvigorate discussions and seminars on the reform of the UN, particularly the Security Council, towards a renewed consensus.
The other resolution concerns economics. It is also important to understand it because you can't move from a neoliberal type of approach without being able to appreciate what has happened in this particular process around the world, how the economics are being debated and how economics and politics are taking on a different dimension.
For us, the balance of forces has changed. There is no stagnation. We are able to say to you that the recession that took place in 2008, or the recession of 1930, does come closer to the fact that the balance of forces is moving. The African continent is not stagnating; it is faced with new challenges.
Hence, within the ANC, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the AU. [Applause.] When those different leaders met, they did so on the basis that leadership was changing on the African continent. The economics that are taking place on the African continent are changing. How we are beginning to look again at the natural resources and the way we continue to strengthen ourselves as the African continent, are what you missed in your analysis.
What you also missed is that continuing change of the unipolar processes is not about the North itself and what strength the North had in the past. The recession, or the intervention of the banks, has brought a totally different dimension to those economics. So, the deteriorating economies of the North do influence the change of our economies or how they interrelate with our own economy, and how we relate to the AU.
These are unnecessary developments that we are supposed to have reflected on. We are supposed to be able to engage when we come to the decisions and what types of economies are beginning to influence our relationships within Africa as a continent. Do we reflect on that? Are we moving back?
South Africa has long accepted that there is intertrade. That is one part of our policy because that is why we talk about economic development and diplomacy. You should re-engage and be able to do an assessment of what types of economies are taking place or are evolving within the African continent. So, whenever you deal with the North-South relationship, you should be able to say that. The North is not the same. It has not conducted a relationship that has been beneficial to the relationship within the African continent.
If you can't deal with that type of dilemma, you must definitely be saying that there is something wrong with the type of analysis that you have arrived at. You can't arrive at a different analysis because South Africa is determined. It has a trade relationship with quite a number of countries and the European Union is part of this debate. Are they able to assist the agenda of the African continent so that the African continent is able to move away and be unchained from the types of economies and influences that are being determined by the North? For us, that type of change of relationship is very dynamic; it is not stagnant!
This means that when you deal with the recession of 2008, you should also be able to see what challenges confront South Africa's economy, rather than accusing the Ministry or the President for the way they look at a particular development. It is not of his making; it is economics. If it's not about economics, then there is something wrong with the way we look at diplomacy and how we are trying to support the new developments that are taking place on the African continent.
Hence, I still want to raise one of the resolutions of the ANC conference, because they are going to help us have a proper understanding of where the ANC wants to go from here. The changes that the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank are continuously emphasising, their resolutions, I will donate them to you. The ANC continues to call for the reform of the IMF and the World Bank to reflect principles of equity and fairness. The ANC will partner with international organisations and engage alternative think tanks in the transformation endeavours. The ANC will impress on the SA government to utilise platforms like the G20 to lobby for transformation, and the ANC encourages the formation of alternatives like the Latin American countries, that have begun the formation of Banco del Sur, the Bank of the South.
It does say that the ANC that we are proudly talking about - not the individuals within the organisation - does have policies so that they are able to guide, even the debates that are taking place about the National Development Plan, NDP. It is not an isolated mountain. That is why the President has said that the NDP has to be engaged. We need to be able to reflect on it. It is necessary because it deals with our vision into the near future. We should be able to debate it. It does have weaknesses, but we will be able to deal with them.
On the question that you are continuously trying to pose, I am sure that all of us who are looking for change will always reflect and engage on how the change occurs. I am sure that African leaders met in the AU and discussed how we continuously defend the developments that are taking place in Africa. When ordinary young children are raped, we are not only supposed to be able to reflect, as a country, on our capacity, but we are also supposed to be able to say how we will defend the interests of the ordinary people. That is what drives our foreign policy when we deal with the issue of defence.
Let us also deal with another matter that is very important. It was resolved in our conference. I am going to assist you again. This is about Africom, which is an important development. If you dealt with defence matters, you would know what Africom meant. The ANC reaffirmed its position that African states should be resolute in their stance against the presence of Africom in Africa in the guise of war on terror, while you are actually militarising the continent. There are different views.
The ANC recognised that Africom is more than just a building of American bases on the African continent, but includes more subtle programmes involving the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's military and military training of African militaries, as well as the funding of NGOs for anti-African agendas and the increasing introduction of drones in the guise of technological assistance in conflict areas. The Asians respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of fellow African countries and call on the US and military organisations like Nato to do the same.
For us, that is what it means to be able to build an African defence force that, firstly, should be able to defend the development that is taking place within the African continent; and, secondly, should be able to defend those young ones, the vulnerable, and the poorest of the poor who cannot make it within the African continent, who come to our borders every day and request assistance from President Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, and those from areas where there is violence.
So, at no stage did you say we should see the Pan-African defence force as a progressive step, as much as you have been saying that the Southern African Development Community, SADC, Brigade is one of the necessary developments that have taken place. However, as the ANC, we are conscious in this department that certain things are unnecessary to be defended and we should always build our capacity within a particular development. We should be able to ask what capacity those that we are interacting with have to be able to assist the ANC or the country. We should not continue to hold on to protectionism.
Hon Maynier, the apartheid regime fell flat when that development took place, because they couldn't open their economies up, nor did they accept that the world is dynamic and moving on. I am emphasising that under this Ministry, and if you look deeper into the policy on diplomacy that is in front of us to debate, you will find out that this dynamism is the one that will always confront us relating to the way we deal with the world, where unipolarism is being challenged. You know as a matter of fact that the capacity of China in terms of economics is growing, and that means the world is changing. In no way will America be on its own in how it conducts itself.
You know as a matter of fact where we are seated, and dealing with the debates on the Central African Republic, CAR, you will know that the French role has not been the same as the role that has been played by other European countries. They defend the interests that they have had for a very long time. They were defending those particular interests. They were situated at the airport, because they knew exactly that the rebels were pursuing their own agenda.
This is what we knew, and that is what we were faced with as a challenge. Hence, that is what we need to confront as South Africans and ask ourselves. What do we do when the rebels are trying to remain in charge and not being able to provide the necessary leadership that is needed in their countries? Under this Ministry, we are able to do so. Thank you. [Applause.]