- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2001

South Africa, while scouring aggressively for new foreign investments, is painfully aware that there are no quick fixes to bolster economic development, Foreign Minister Nkosazane Zuma says.
"This is a long, drawn-out process without any quick fixes readily available, " she said in an interview Wednesday with The Washington Times.
Foreign investment is in decline while the latest jobless numbers show a rise to 9.3 million, about a million more people out of work than two years ago.
South Africas economic woes come at a time when the nonracial government that succeeded the white-ruled apartheid regime seven years ago is struggling to spread the benefits of the nations powerful economy to an impatient black majority.
"Investors require all the usual assurances of stability and security, favorable laws and attractive markets. But perceptions on the direction a country is moving count as well, " a well-placed source said yesterday.
Another source with extensive contacts in South Africa cited several of the regional intangibles contributing to a less-than-buoyant investor outlook.
The source cited the refusal of President Thabo Mbeki to publicly condemn Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe for his forcible acquisition of white-owned farms as one such intangible.
Other regional woes include a bid by Namibian President Sam Nujoma for a fourth term despite constitutional term limits, the civil war in Angola and the Congo civil war, which has sucked into it six of its neighbors.
"This makes it seem to investors that southern Africa, for all its wealth of resources and productive economies, is not a region with a bright future, " the source said.
In an effort to break the pessimism, Mr. Mbeki has joined Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Nigerian President Olusegun Obansjo to develop a Millennium Africa Program (MAP) for development.
The plan brings together Africas largest, most populous and most developed states to work toward uplifting the entire continent.
In her visit to Washington, Mrs. Zuma met with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to discuss what Africa can expect from the new administration.
Prominent in the discussions was the question of South Africas efforts to bring down sharply the cost of AIDS drugs.
A group of Western pharmaceutical companies yesterday dropped a lawsuit against South Africa in a negotiated settlement.
One item not on the agenda of the South African foreign minister was Wednesdays coup attempt in Burundi.
Mrs. Zuma said she learned as she was visiting with the U.S. officials that a coup had been staged by junior officers of the Tutsi-led nation against the government of President Pierre Buyoya.
The coup was put down later in the day.

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