Press release from the Fight Inequality Alliance supported by trade unions, social movements, youth and other allies 11 October 2023

Smash the IMF and the World Bank! Close their doors. Scrap all debt. World Bank & IMF out of South Africa! End “green” structural adjustment programmes!

When we say, “FIX IT or NIX IT,” we mean that the Bank is not able to fix itself, so we will campaign to nix it: close it down.

“Build the People’s Economic Alternatives!”, is the theme of the Fight Inequality Alliance (FIA) and allies’ People’s Street Tribunal that will be held on 12 October 2023, at 10h00 outside the World Bank offices in Lynnwood, Pretoria

Mobilise to fight back FIA SA has been mobilising social movements, trade unions, women’s and youth organisations across the country, to come and speak out against the IMF and World Bank. We insist on an alternative to the neoliberal economics that South African elites impose on us, so we can create a society worth living for. The IMF and World Bank are clear and present dangers, since their 2020-22 loans enforced austerity on our already-strained social programmes.

For too long, we the people, the workers, the poor and marginalised suffered under policies that are not in our interest and policies that we did not make. The economic policies of the South African Government, with the influence of the IMF and the World Bank since the 1990s, have left us in a state of barbarism. We have seen mothers killing their children because of poverty. We witnessed how 77 people were killed in a fire because of negligence of the Johannesburg Municipality - and the housing crisis is still not being addressed. Unemployment has reached astronomical levels at more than 40% (counting people who have given up looking). Our education system is falling apart, with half our children ‘culled’ before matric year and appalling results in most areas of learning competency. Long queues of people receive substandard care at hospitals and clinics with no hope in sight, while the rich get richer even during pandemics and recessions. Year after year, our government cuts the budget to the poor, whilst tax for big corporations are reduced, from a high of over 52% in 1992 to 27% today.

We say, Enough is enough!

The track record of the IMF and the World bank in South Africa

The IMF and the Wordbank supported apartheid South Africa since the sixties and now they are supporting the neo-liberal ANC government. Their conditionalities are in direct conflict with the interest of the poor in South Africa and across the world.

There are many examples of IMF/Wordbank atrocities in South Africa but we will only focus on a few for now.
● The Bank’s $100 million in loans to Eskom from 1951 to 1967 that gave only white people electric power but for which all South Africans paid the bill
● The IMF apartheid-supporting loans of more than $2 billion between the Soweto uprising in 1976 and 1983, when the US Congress finally prohibited lending to Pretoria
● A $850 million IMF loan to South Africa in December 1993 that carried conditions of wage restraints and cuts in the budget deficit, which in turn hampered the transition to democracy
● The Banks participation in the failed GEAR policy in June 1996, through contributing both two staff economist and its economic model
● The Bank and IMF’s consistent message to South African workers that their wages are too high and that unemployment can only be cured through “labour flexibility”.

For too long attempts have been made to reform the IMF and the World Bank. This strategy simply has not worked - for us or anyone. Capitalism cannot be transformed. The IMF and the World Bank are the think tanks, financial armies and ideological mouthpieces of the most predatory form of capitalism. What is left is for us to destroy it!

Smashing the IMF and the World Bank does not mean that we are in favour of the Brics bank. For this will be a discussion at a later stage.

We call on all progressive organisations, trade unions and social movements to join us in this battle. The tribunal will give us guidance on future programmes and activities.


A press conference will be held at 442 Rodericks Street, Lynnwood, Pretoria @ 13h15 on the 12 October 2023

For further enquiries contact:

Wafaa Abdurahman - National Coordinator, Fight Inequality Alliance South Africa Whatsapp: 0763192714 Cell: 0727935774


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