ID Group Press Release - Systemic corruption, racism and violence in South Africa

Delegation from ID Group concerned about systemic corruption, systemic racism and systemic violence in South Africa following fact-finding mission to Cape Town


A delegation of the ID group has conducted a fact-finding mission in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The delegation, comprised of six Members of Parliament, has met with the EU ambassador to South Africa, political parties, civil society organisations, advocacy groups, political experts, and an agricultural union to discuss the current state of affairs in the country, including the upcoming elections in 2024. The delegation also visited several communities that have been affected by the high levels of violent crime in the country.


The delegation found that the situation in South Africa is highly volatile and that the government's ability to maintain law and order is seriously compromised. Rampant crime, including gruesome farm murders, seems to have become even worse. Farmers, who play an important role in feeding South Africans, suffer not only from these criminal attacks, oftentimes executed with military-style tactics and precision, but also from widespread corruption in state institutions, the deterioration of the South African Rand, and the threat of government expropriation of property without compensation.


South Africa is the only African country that has a strategic partnership with the EU, the latter also being one of South Africa’s most important trade partners. In addition, the EU is one of South Africa’s biggest donors when it comes to development aid. For these reasons, we urge the EU and its institutions involved in South Africa to call on the ANC government to address the serious allegations of corruption and violent crime, to prioritise farm murders, to abolish laws that discriminate against minorities, to resolve electricity shortages, and to unconditionally respect and protect private property rights through maintaining the willing buyer - willing seller principle.


Electricity shortages affect every single South African - the implementation of “loadshedding” means that households and businesses alike are left without power for several hours per day. The country’s electricity provider Eskom, which is state-owned and enjoys a monopoly on power generation, has become a hotbed of corruption and maladministration. 


The EU, together with the US, has pledged an initial USD 8.5 billion under the International Just Energy Transition Partnership (JTE) to support South Africa's decarbonisation efforts. In this regard, the EU should contribute its expertise in reforming South Africa’s energy sector by breaking Eskom’s monopoly and creating a viable energy market. We call on the EU to refrain from dedicating any funds meant for South Africa under the JTE to Eskom, or Eskom debt relief. Instead, we call on the EU to disburse funds, if any, only to private, most preferably micro- and SMEs, that can enter into competition with Eskom. The EU should focus its contribution on helping to increase the power supply, whilst decentralising power generation, before pursuing any decarbonisation goals.


With regard to the upcoming elections in 2024, the delegation found a concern that the ANC would not accept a possible defeat. There was also widespread concern of a possible coalition with the EFF party, given its radical Marxist agenda, disrespect for private property, and its threats against racial minorities. 


The mission findings will be followed-up by a series of parliamentary questions and initiatives in order to help South Africa thrive as a reliable strategic partner of the EU. The delegation will continue to monitor the situation in South Africa.