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'Zuma has little impact on SA's reputation'

By Sapa | 2014-08-02 07:16:01.0 | COMMENTS [ 81 ]

Scandals involving President Jacob Zuma have little impact on South Africa's reputation in the US, Brand SA country manager Simon Barber said on Friday.

South Africans were more worried about issues such as the R246 million upgrade to Zuma's private home in Nkandla, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, he said in Washington.

"This stuff isn't being followed [in the US] and it's pretty much inside baseball.

"Let's be honest, from a US point of view, so the president has his compound in KZN which costs 20 million US dollars. Well, you know, in this country people in New York buy apartments for 20 million US dollars. So I don't think people are widely stunned by that," he said.

"That's our politics, it doesn't say an awful lot about the country as a whole."

South Africa's asset was that in the US it was seen as the country of former president Nelson Mandela.

"That still resonates strongly with the United States," Barber said.

"Record numbers of Americans are going into South Africa for holidays and business, 300,000 last year, and all of them are coming back with a good story to tell."

In terms of business interest, US investors could be more concerned with issues of labour unrest.

However South Africans, sitting in South Africa, were not very good at looking at the country in context, Barber said.

"We are not the only emerging market that had labour unrest, so it's been a problem for us right now... [but] in the broader scheme of things we not that unusual," he said.

The country has just come out of a five-month strike in the platinum mining sector and a four week strike in the metals and engineering sector.

Barber was speaking ahead of the US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which is being held in Washington next week.

A South African delegation, led by Zuma, will be attending the summit.

Barber said in terms of US interest, South Africa had a boring story at the moment.

The strikes on Gaza, the clashes between Russia and the Ukraine, and Boko Haram in Nigeria where taking most of the focus.

"The old news line is 'if it bleeds it leads'. Well, we not bleeding relatively speaking.

"There isn't blood running in our streets, our girls are not being kidnapped by religious fanatics, we aren't at war or bombing anybody. We look pretty good right now," he said.

However, there were a number of stereotypes about South Africa and Africa.

Many people in the US did not see South Africa as having an advanced manufacturing sector.

"When you tell them that 3 Series BMW you see parked over there could well have been made in Pretoria... they stunned."

Brand SA in the US was trying to change that perception, Barber said.

*Flight and hotel costs for Sapa's reporter covering the summit were paid by the presidency.*



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2014-08-02 10:08:37.0 | 2 replies


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2014-08-04 07:11:54.0 | 1 replies


I also so much wish to offer you a kind loan right now .You owe each of us a kick on your back side .

2014-08-04 09:18:56.0 | 0 replies


What is a kind loan?

2014-08-04 12:28:03.0 | 0 replies


how much did zuma pay this arshol to publish this crap? He even uses zuma's frase, "a good story to tell", mindless idiot.

2014-08-04 06:40:27.0 | 0 replies


HA HA HA HA HA..... Seriously, Simon. I hope you have a lifetime contract, cos after this wonderful fairytale I don't think anyone anywhere will be offering you a job.

2014-08-04 07:25:53.0 | 0 replies


It's true what this man says. South Africans are very negative, about every thing. If there is a earthquake, they will still blame gov LOL

2014-08-04 07:26:26.0 | 2 replies


I think it is more a case of the international community having become numbed to his antics as he has been a laughing stock for so long.

2014-08-04 07:43:06.0 | 1 replies


He doesn't mention the international community, he mentions the USA only. Can you read ?????

2014-08-04 07:47:23.0 | 1 replies


Indeed I can. Hey I can even think beyond the obvious. Try it sometime, rude skaap.

2014-08-04 08:46:29.0 | 0 replies


It is the same all over the world, Whizzer. The Americans aren't too happy with their government either. Governments are, in general, not popular in their own countries

2014-08-04 08:31:53.0 | 1 replies


There's corruption, unemployment etc, in every country, MC. At least brand SA is doing something, and not been negative all the time !

2014-08-04 08:40:42.0 | 1 replies


Well please excuse us for not wanting to measure ourselves against the lowest common denominator! Our country is the best in the world and we deserve better than their worst

2014-08-04 08:43:46.0 | 2 replies


AG, our resident govt apologist is at it again.

2014-08-04 08:47:05.0 | 1 replies


Stop been so negative Robin, you will croak from stress, very soon !

2014-08-04 09:04:51.0 | 1 replies


Not stressed at all, my little lapdog.

2014-08-04 09:08:24.0 | 0 replies


Spot-on MC, why should we give a f**k about corruption in other countries?? SA is our country and we pay taxes there. We can't keep financing corruption and saying nothing about it!!

2014-08-04 09:01:08.0 | 1 replies


How do you pay SA tax, when you live and work in UK ????? hmmm.

2014-08-04 09:16:39.0 | 1 replies


I have properties in SA, moron. I also run charities for single parent (child) households in SA

2014-08-04 09:36:44.0 | 1 replies


Just give a answer, why the insult ????

2014-08-04 09:42:22.0 | 1 replies


My land is classed as 'agricultural property', therefore land tax is applicable. My house is in a residential area, therefore 'rates' and land tax is applicable. My charity is classed as a business, therefore corporation tax is applicable. Do you pay tax on your dighy?? or is it moored in your garden pond????

2014-08-04 09:59:51.0 | 1 replies


Do you want too swim back from the UK ????? carry on !

2014-08-04 10:08:47.0 | 0 replies


He does make a point, but we r not Americans n we r keeping a close eye on Zuma.

2014-08-04 07:33:54.0 | 0 replies


He is in America to go and negotiate for South Africa, the Indians the chinese and Russians spotted the leader of the clown show a long time ago already. We see signs of the Guptastan, silence on Ukraine attrocities, and we have the chinese poised to buy even more mines so they can sell the raw materials back home to the chinese industries at below market rates so that chinese factories run and SA ones close down. The chinese will also save on the tax to be paid to SA. How many mines already chinese owned. Sinosteel set up in SA. These countries just need their clown to talk to that's all, one willing to take a bribe, and sail the countries future down the river.

2014-08-04 07:58:39.0 | 0 replies


The only thing in the world that Zuma has any impact on is our tax money! Other than taking our cash, he doesn't really have much of an impact on South Africa at all

2014-08-04 08:02:30.0 | 1 replies


His family empire is expanding as much as K.hulubuse's waistline

2014-08-04 09:52:33.0 | 0 replies


"Let's be honest, from a US point of view, so the president has his compound in KZN which costs 20 million US dollars. Well, you know, in this country people in New York buy apartments for 20 million US dollars. So I don't think people are widely stunned by that," he said. ********************************************************* What this Zumbie does not realise is that people spend their own 20 million USD, not the taxpayers' money which are meant for service delivery. I doubt he's telling the truth, but merely sucking up to Zuma to extend his contract on the gravy train.

2014-08-04 08:06:05.0 | 0 replies


Obviously the US people couldn't care less about the money he spends. Same as I couldn't care less if Michelle flies her whole family on a private jet. We each worry about our own tax monies. That the US people don't worry about our tax money says absolutely nothing about them or us.

2014-08-04 08:15:47.0 | 0 replies


UK gives £19million aid to South Africa - its president spends £17.5million on his palace By BARBARA JONES, UK Daily Mail It is a nation racked by poverty, where 13 million people survive on less than £1 a day, and two million have no access to a toilet. Yet as his people struggle in squalor, South African president Jacob Zuma has sparked outrage by spending £17.5 million to upgrade his rural family home. Lavish works – which include the construction of 31 new houses, an underground bunker accessed by lifts and a helipad – will cost almost as much as the £19 million British taxpayers send to South Africa in annual aid. Last week he was grilled in parliament about what he and his family were costing the nation, and struggled to answer, protesting that he was unaware of the scale of the work. ‘All the buildings and every room we use in that residence were built by ourselves as family and not by the government,’ he protested. He did not know the amount spent on bunkers, claiming: ‘I don’t know the figures; that’s not my job.’ Under pressure, Zuma has been forced to agree to two investigations: one to probe the spiralling costs at Nkandla, the other to see if there was a breach of parliamentary spending rules ... Meanwhile, South Africa is in an increasingly parlous state, having had its credit rating downgraded following industrial unrest. Workers at the Marikana platinum mine were mown down and killed by armed police last month when they dared to demand better pay. A truck-drivers’ strike later led to more deaths, and last week thousands of farmworkers downed tools in protest at their £4.85 day-rate. Yet Zuma – who glories in his nickname ‘100 per cent Zulu boy’ – still has substantial support among the people, bolstered by his freedom-fighter credentials, having spent ten years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela. Britain is committed to spending an average of £19 million a year in aid on South Africa until 2015, mainly aimed at reducing HIV. But the Department for International Development is examining how it spends the UK’s aid budget, and recently announced plans to slash the controversial £280 million a year it sends to India.

2014-08-04 08:16:16.0 | 2 replies


Please do your copy and paste sh!t somewhere else

2014-08-04 08:40:57.0 | 2 replies


Vandal-looser, I don't speak to Chibuku alcoholics/drunkards :)

2014-08-04 08:47:10.0 | 0 replies


You are indeed on point Vendalious. This path'etic kitchen ni'gg'a called Mthimbana is not ash'amed of himself. How on earth did the upgrades include the construction of 31 new houses? This po'or soul clearly does not know that Zuma and his family started building his house in the 90's, that was years before he even dreamt of becaming the state president. Relying too much on City Press's and Mail & Guardians of this world for "information" can really inflict irreparable dam'age on some weak souls. This is indeed a classic example. This poor soul pasted the following gar'bage "Yet Zuma – who glories in his nickname ‘100 per cent Zulu boy’ – still has substantial support among the people, bolstered by his freedom-fighter credentials, having spent ten years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela". This is old news, gone past its sell-by date. But it has been recycled by this propagandist to serve an agenda of portraying Msholozi as nothing other than an old fashioned Zulu tri'balist. MthimbanaT, who is a Swati, is clearly a strong believer in folklore stories. No wonder he has the nerves to cut and paste such rub'bish written by an ignorant British clown who fancies himself/herself as a bonnafide journalist at best. Hopefully he /she does not consider himself/herself as a political commentator or analyst. This mam'para has probably never set foot on our SA shores, and yet he/she believes he/she has moral authority to produce and off-load such a gar'bage stories to the unsuspecting and ignorant public. This is classic piece of dru'nken imagination by the-so-called a journalist. But obviously, our po'or MthimbanaT fell for his/her tricks. I guess that says a lot about this po'or soul who gob'bles any form of s**t from his western masters. I am sure he often refers to his masters as "IMILOMO ENGATHETHI MANGA". Eish... kunzima eMzansi bakwethu. Izinyanya zakuleli kumele zisebenze impela kwizimpabanga ezifana noMthimbanaT, uma kungenjalo, ngiyamzwela.

2014-08-04 09:50:54.0 | 1 replies


UMjiggiboore Are you now officially ZUPTA's clownherder that you whistle for that Vendashyster and he comes running. Or is it just your tribalist magnestism that he cannot resist?

2014-08-04 10:15:19.0 | 0 replies


And this is why you ARE the MAIN MAN.


2014-08-04 08:44:36.0 | 1 replies


Hola Bokkeristo :)

2014-08-04 09:12:15.0 | 1 replies


Have you seen this report yet Muchacho??

Johannesburg - Former minister of arts and culture and ANC stalwart Pallo Jordan has routinely used the title of “Dr” for years only to now be exposed as a fraud. Niews24 check it out.

2014-08-04 09:19:27.0 | 1 replies


I saw it broer ... It never rains but it pours. After 'Dr' Jordan, there's not even one honest politician left in the ANC.

2014-08-04 09:25:25.0 | 1 replies


MthimbanaT. What about your idol, Mrs two seats, a.k.a Dr Ramphele? How honest is she?

2014-08-04 09:54:42.0 | 2 replies


Mjiggiboo your leaders are criminal. Admit it then we can talk about others.

2014-08-04 10:17:35.0 | 0 replies


Mgwiji, the topic is butternut head Zuma. I also did not vote for Mamphele. Frankly, it's none if your business who I voted for.

2014-08-04 13:32:17.0 | 0 replies


So the US perception is that the upgrade is deserving for a President. We cant afford to be a laughing stock by having a president who stays in a two room house.

2014-08-04 08:18:39.0 | 2 replies


No. The perception is that it isn't their tax money so they don't care. Do you care what Obama spends on his house? I don't

2014-08-04 08:27:29.0 | 1 replies


You are wrong Momma C, if they don't care at all they would have not scrutinize the amount spent on the upgrade. According to US, spending 20 million dollars on the upgrade is reasonable.

2014-08-04 08:37:02.0 | 6 replies


Let Obama try and spend 20 mil of TAXPAYERS' money on his own house and see how the Americans would shout about it.

2014-08-04 08:42:44.0 | 0 replies


Ja sure. Spoken like a true aparatchik.

2014-08-04 08:48:15.0 | 0 replies


You expect people to believe that a Zumbie can objectively represent the views of the Americans? Zuma is a joke to the entire world. Just read what is written about him and his followers outside SA.

2014-08-04 08:48:57.0 | 0 replies


Ken Peters, Professor of Economics in the Czech Republic, has the following to say about South Africa... Sx "The danger to South Africa is not Jacob Zuma but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a Zuma presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Zuma, who is a mere symptom of what ails South Africa. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Jacob Zuma, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their President."

2014-08-04 08:51:56.0 | 1 replies


Thiza, I couldn't have put it better myself. Thats why I pleaded with (ANC members) people not to vote. Its true that blaming someone voted legitimately by stupid sheep is looking at the wrong perspective. I am ANC and I do not agree with what my party is doing and thats why I witheld my vote, if we (all ANC members) all did that, it would have sent a loud and clear message to those cretins running our party

2014-08-04 09:12:59.0 | 0 replies


Spew. You Picture is worth a thousand words.

2014-08-04 08:55:22.0 | 0 replies


Sew. Good point. For as long as the ANC is in power, the hat'ers will never stop bar'king and making these irr'itating noises. But I have a s'ad story to tell to them: ANC WILL RULE UNTIL THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST. How about that for the na'ked unedited truth.

2014-08-04 09:58:47.0 | 0 replies


Sew- Hang on, how many presidential residences do we have in SA?? 5?, or 6? and they are all palatial. He wanted to up-grade HIS personal house using our money and you telling us he'd be a laughing stock living in one of the designated (presidential palaces) mansions?? Phew, another corruption apologist, you should never have voted for corruption.

2014-08-04 09:08:00.0 | 1 replies


Skwamas - Even in 2019 I am still going to Vote for ANC. The wishes of Bokker, Mthimbana, Ydenitus, Robbin X, Oldlady, not sure about Momma C to see DA ruling this country will not be realized as long as my vote and that of others count. They can keep wetting on their pants hoping that DA will rule this country in their life time, anyway its their pants, who cares.

2014-08-04 09:39:37.0 | 3 replies


Why? Tell me why you will vote ANC, no matter what they do. I am genuinely interested.

2014-08-04 09:46:52.0 | 0 replies


Sew, I'm hoping for EFF to run the country sometime soon.

2014-08-04 09:47:48.0 | 0 replies


Uhm Sew, You are a very very slow learner. I have on contless occasions stressed that I am politically completely non-aligned and DO NOT SUPPORT THE DA. I simply also refuse to support a corrupt party such as the one you appear to worship.

2014-08-04 10:06:08.0 | 0 replies