IRR to IMF and UNHRC: SA policy and debt crisis a threat to human rights

26 June 2020 - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s warning in his emergency budget that South Africa’s debt situation is becoming increasingly dangerous is ominous evidence of the strong case for approaching international creditors for financial support.

Press Release 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s warning in his emergency budget that South Africa’s debt situation is becoming increasingly dangerous is ominous evidence of the strong case for approaching international creditors for financial support.

That Mboweni could only warn about an impending sovereign debt crisis without being able to announce urgent economic and fiscal remedies illustrates why the Institute of Race Relations’ (IRR) international campaign to expose the ANC's policy failures to IMF donor nations is so vital.

The history of sovereign debt crises referred to by the finance minister illuminates their impact on the lives, rights and dignity of people.

It is in view of this that the IRR has escalated its initiative by delivering letters to UN representatives of IMF donor nations who are currently, or are soon to be, members of the UN Human Rights Council.

Said IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research Hermann Pretorius: "No one can ignore the reality that economic collapse and the denial of economic liberty are intimately entwined with human rights.

“In South Africa, we have seen economic injustice manifest in the violation of human rights. South Africans being denied the basic human right to own property was a fundamental injustice of the Apartheid regime. In the 21st century, it is no less unjust to violate this right than it was during the darkest days of Apartheid. The IRR opposed then and opposes now the violation of the right of all people to own securely what they have worked hard to earn.

“While speaking the language of economic liberty and empowerment, decrying the danger of uncontrolled and escalating debt, and paying lip service to attracting investment and creating jobs, the ANC and its ideological ally, the South African Communist Party, repeat the mistakes of the past.

“This is why there should be no doubt in the minds of South Africans or IMF donor nations that only sustained external pressure on the ANC – by attaching clear conditions to financial support – can force the ANC to abandon policies that have cost jobs and livelihoods, and eroded human rights.

“Now is the time to apply the greatest possible pressure on the ANC to choose a course of economic action that will uplift and empower all South Africans."

 

Media contact: Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research – 079 875 4290; hermann@irr.org.za

Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

Kelebogile Leepile Tel: 079 051 0073 Email: kelebogile@irr.org.za

Ends

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