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Vol 2 (AAC) No 6

Published 1st April 2009

South Africa

This wheel's on fire

China may be popular amongst some politicians, but support on the ground can be much thinner. In spite of increased trade and warmer relations, there has been a rise in anti-Chinese sentiment among workers, civil society and businesses in South Africa. Tensions arise when small local companies find themselves in direct competition with Chinese traders. In some quarters, there is still resentment of the Constitutional Court's judgement a year ago declaring Chinese of South African descent 'black' and eligible for affirmative action and black empowerment. There are claims that non-South African Chinese companies 'front' as locals to secure contracts. The African National Congress (ANC) is so confident of electoral victory on 22 April that it can largely ignore such sentiments.

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