The world’s third-largest economy, Japan, says South Africa’s higher levels of unemployment, and eventually extreme poverty, is a result of apartheid’s discriminatory policies.
The shocking revelation was made last week by Yoshiro Yokoi, Johannesburg chief representative of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, during the first-leg of the pre-TICAD South African Investment Seminars hosted in Nagoya, Japan.
“If everyone had access to education back then, we would not have this high unemployment rate,” Yokoi said, pledging to help the country rebuild its economy and calling South Africa the continent’s gateway that represents a ‘sound investment destination’ for Japanese companies.
He hailed the Free Trade Agreement that South Africa has with member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) could benefit Japanese companies that are interested in doing business in the region because it provides access to more than 200 million consumers.
Yokoi also said the country’s warm reception of foreign investors, its policies and incentives make it easy for foreign companies to access opportunities in the country.
South Africa’s investment opportunities range from agro-processing to business process outsourcing and IT enabled services, consumer goods, boat-building, automotives and components, Charles Manuel, of the South Africa’s department of trade and industry (dti) said.
There is also green economy industries, advanced manufacturing, tourism and electro technical sectors.
However, Yokoi’s apartheid’s blame game is likely to sustain the thesis of the ANC-led government who occasionally blames more than eight decades of brutal and discriminatory white rule for most of the current’s social problems.
But, the business and political white elite who benefited from the ‘mortal sins’ of apartheid continues to reject these accusations, saying the government of the day should take the blame for its increasingly corrupt practices.
South Africa’s unemployment rate currently stands at 25%,and its poverty rate is about 51%, according to official statistics.
Nevertheless, the government of Japan said it will never let South Africa and Africa walk alone.
The South-East Asia empire on Saturday promised a total of 32 billion USD (about R320 billion) as government and private-sector aid to foster growth in a region that is increasingly an appealing market and business partner, Associated Press reports.