The BRICS New Development Bank is having its Annual General Meeting on 1-2 April, here in South Africa. There’s information about the meeting here, including public sessions. Critics meet to discuss the Bank on 31 March – 3 June in Cape Town and Johannesburg, especially to interrogate bank loans to South Africa.
The more we look at this institution, the more its rhetoric on sustainability and claims to offer an alternative approach to that of the Bretton Woods Institutions grate. The World Bank has a new leader, David Malpass, following a quite disastrous run by ex-leftist Jim Yong Kim (as predicted when he took up the post in 2012). With Malpass in the lead we can predict abundant hypocrisy when it comes to South African corruption, especially in Eskom and Transnet, as described in the attached files. To his credit, Malpass was honest, back in 2017:
Malpass: “They’re often corrupt in their lending practices, and they don’t get the benefit to the actual people in the countries. They get the benefit to the people who fly in on a first-class airplane ticket to give advice to the government officials in the country, that flow of money is large, but not so much the actual benefit to normal people within poor countries, and that’s what I’d like to see change.”
Rep. Maxine Waters:“Do you have an example of that?”
Malpass: “Well, for example, we have countries such as South Africa that are deteriorating rapidly as their government is unable to provide efficiency and effectiveness… South Africa is heavily indebted and not making progress and is not being well served by its relationships with international financial institutions.”
True! South Africans are pushing the Bank to write off its largest-ever loan now: Eskom’s Medupi, a $3.75bn corruption-riddled coal-fired power station, a garantuan white elephant. Last Sunday, a national tv town-hall show – The Big Debate – explored this question of lender liability.
Just as Donald Trump appointed the idiot Malpass with no BRICS opposition, Jair Bolsonaro will appoint the next BRICS Bank president.
The BRICS Bank is facing the same questions about Odious Debt in relation to the loan to Transnet, to expand the main Durban harbour. But BRICS NDB Compliance Officer Srinivas Yanamandra is in corruption-denial, as you see from correspondence which ended yesterday. He convicingly shows that the BRICS NDB cannot be reasoned with.
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Professor Patrick Bond teaches political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.