- Chinese diplomat Lin Songtian claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa is the 'last hope' for South Africa
- Songtian wants the government to turn incentive policies into law in order to secure more investment in the country
-The ambassador has also dubbed cash-strapped Eskom as a 'debt trap'
China's ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, is adamant that President Cyril Ramaphosa is the last hope we have:
“President Cyril Ramaphosa is the last hope of this country."
With China serving as the country's largest trade partner, pledging more investment than any other nation, Songtian's comments hold more weight than some would like.
Lin is hoping to see more favourable conditions enshrined in investment laws, saying that incentives have done little to attract foreign funds:
“To date there are no major infrastructure projects from China here. Why? Because we don’t only need the concept of a project."
Songtian also took a moment to acknowledge the situation at embattled power utility, Eskom:
“Eskom is a debt trap. China gave them some loans before. And now they become very cautious. Eskom is not an issue of money. It’s the issue of operation mechanisms, management, capacity."
The indebted utility has been forced to seek alternative funding options and managed to secure a $2.5 billion loan from the China Development Bank in 2018.
However, Songtian says China is more than willing to contribute for the time being:
“If it goes for electricity, roads, industrial parks and follows the concept of intensive development, temporary debt is okay and will be paid back when the country gets developed."
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