South Africa’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has joined the chorus of growing disapproval of a proposed $100 million loan to Zimbabwe saying the African National Congress government should set political conditions for the line of credit.
According to media reports, the DA says South Africa should ensure that any loan granted to Zimbabwe should be strictly tied to the adherence to a road map for peaceful political transition outlined in the Zimbabwe's global political agreement.
“As the chief Southern African Development Community (SADC) negotiator in Zimbabwe, President Zuma should have ensured that we use this loan request as an opportunity to exercise legitimate leverage over our neighbour's faltering democratic institutions,” the DA said in a statement.
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan met his Zimbabwean counterpart, Tendai Biti, on Friday to discuss the proposed credit line that is earmarked for, among other issues, the forthcoming referendum and bonuses for civil servants.
The DA says South Africa should put political conditions as it did to Swaziland that was asked to implement specific reforms in order to be given a loan.
Independent political commentator, Zenzo Nkomo, who is an official of the Communist Party of South Africa tells Studio 7 the DA is putting pressure on the South African government as any opposition party should be doing.
“The DA is doing what an opposition party should be rightfully doing,” Nkomo said.
Another commentator, Brilliant Mhlanga a lecturer at Westminster University in London, agrees adding that the DA is making sure that South Africa becomes accountable to the loan.
“It is understandable that the DA and the people of South Africa are condemning the loan but they should realize that it comes back with interest,” said Mhlanga.