China needs more South African than the reverse, says Peter Draper, a researcher with the South African Institute of International Affairs. But South Africa is working to strengthen its relations with Beijing. Martyn Davies, CEO of Frontier Advisory [a consulting firm specializing in China], recalls that in 1998 South Africa recognized the People's Republic as the official representative of the Chinese state. She broke the coup with Taiwan. According to Davies, this event was accompanied by "an initial rush of Chinese investors, who all came from the municipality of Shanghai. Local authorities in Beijing had received the mission to develop close ties with South Africa."
Davies said that these investments were small-scale and focused on light industry, "more than a dozen factories that produced everything from light bulbs to refrigerators, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal [center is]" . But, again according to Davies, "these companies have failed because of complete lack of local market knowledge, inexperience of management and a huge difference in terms of corporate culture. In the business Chinese people still speak of the inability to penetrate the [South African], which discourages potential investors. " By cons, large investments have continued. Hannah Edinger, head of research at Frontier Advisory, ensures that the bulk of foreign direct investment from China has reached a total of just over 3 billion euros at the end of last year in South Africa. In 2010, they would be mounted to 298 million euros.
Over the years, Beijing's role as a trading partner has increased.In 2009, China moved into the ranking of importers of South African products, while it ranked fifth in 2008. Those who denounce economic relations with the Asian giant believe that acts as the former colonial powers in Africa. It extracts resources in operations that do nothing to promote the development of the countries involved. And, in a state where the manufacturing sector has shrunk over the last twenty years, cheap Chinese imports are seen as a threat.
The South African exports to China can be roughly divided into two categories: mineral products (equivalent to 3.3 billion euros over the first seven months of the year) and base metals (626 million) . Mineral products are essentially the "coal in its raw form," said Taku Funda, a researcher at the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa. For its part, South Africa imports mainly manufactured goods from China.
All in all, we must recognize that South Africa derives great benefits from its relations with China, especially when its traditional export market, Europe is narrowing. However, we see how evil trade relations have suffered from the Dalai Lama's visit.The researcher Peter Draper examines the motivations of the government. "Knowing that we do not have transparent laws on party financing, we must ask: the Chinese Communist Party finance does the ANC [ruling party] and the SACP [South African Communist Party ]? If the answer is yes, does this mean that our foreign policy is up for sale? "