‘South Africans are starving!’ – Anger rises over ANC’s R50m donation to Cuba

DIRCO has confirmed that the South African government will be sending R50 million over to their counterparts in Cuba, on the grounds that the money will ‘help address widespread nutrition’ plaguing the island nation. However, the ANC now finds itself on the end of an almighty backlash.

An R50 million donation to Cuba – what is the ANC doing?

On Wednesday, MPs queued up to take a swipe at the cash handout, citing a myriad of problems that should be handled at home first. The cruel irony of the state giving R50 million away to tackle rising hunger levels – when the same thing is happening within our own borders – has not been lost on the critics.
In ideological terms, the ANC and Cuba do have some similarities. The socialist state also maintains good diplomatic relations with South Africa, after providing support to struggle forces during the rule of apartheid.

South Africa and Cuba – what’s the deal?

However, not everyone believes that this ‘special relationship’ should take priority over the well-being of poverty-stricken South Africans. The ANC has previously paid handsome sums to the Cuban government too, in the pursuit of hiring their doctors and engineers to work in top level posts across SA.
The DA, as one would expect, are livid with the donation. Willem Faber, an MP on the DIRCO Portfolio Committee, has asked why the ANC would turn its back on millions of starving citizens, who are right here on the doorstep.

How many SA citizens are impacted by hunger?

Faber cites figures from a 2021 IPSOS poll, which report over 40% of South Africans are affected by hunger. Stats like these make the Cuba donation all that much harder to swallow for Parliament’s dissenting voices.

“While South Africans are literally starving, and the desperation is increasing with the rising cost of living, the ANC government sees fit to donate R50 million to Cuba, supposedly to address the malnutrition there. If the Cuban government is anything like its South African counterpart, the Cuban people would be lucky if they saw a single crumb.”
“We cannot afford to donate R50 million to Cuba. We do not have the money. If we did, it should be spent on addressing the severe socioeconomic problems here. South Africa is drowning in debt, mismanagement and corruption, and the ANC government would rather throw our life raft to their Cuban crushes than kick free of the undertow.”
Willem Faber

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