(PresidencyZA / Twitter)
(PresidencyZA / Twitter)
Theresa May has earmarked Africa as her go-to destination for establishing trade talks and deals outside of the UK. Of course, South Africa is at the top of the queue here, and our people have some demands.
Cyril Ramaphosa may be locked in negotiations with Prime Minister May on Tuesday afternoon, but there are millions of South Africans with a few suggestions at the top of their wishlist.
So if the UK is ready to do business, what can South Africans rightfully ask for? We think we’ve got a pretty decent list – put this on a memorandum, and get it down to Cape Town ASAP.
Listen, Theresa. We know you’ve got your work cut out with these Brexit negotiations. So let us take the lead on this one, yeah? We’re sick of the visa restrictions South Africans face when visiting the UK.
Many of our countrymen and women have family in Blighty, and our less-than-hostile takeover of Wimbledon was a perfect example of how South Africans can expropriate land in a civil, dignified manner. But for those of us on the outside, we don’t like being excluded.
We want a return to the pre-2009 era, where travel between the two countries was as easy as dancing a merry jig. This change from a visa-free status meant many thousands of South Africans now pay upwards of R2 000 just to gain entry to your rainy island. This has to change.
You’ve had the pick of our best talents over the years – Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, just to name a few – and we’re not about to let it happen again. We want cricketer expropriation from you and we want it now.
Now, we’re fully aware that Keaton Jennings and Tom Curran haven’t enjoyed meteoric success in the international arena. In fact, the explosive opening batsman Jason Roy is the only South African-born English player who could get into the Proteas side right now.
But Strauss didn’t blossom until he was nearly 30 and Trott was also a latecomer to the Test and ODI scene. We’ll be taking no chances and respectfully ask you to send them home during these trade talks.
Nice touch returning the stolen SS Mendi bell on Tuesday, Theresa May. A touch of class. Although, you might be a little late on this one. People stopped saying “give that man a Bells” about Cyril Ramaphosa a few months ago.
But while we have your attention, perhaps it wouldn’t be too much trouble to ask for the Cullinan Diamond back? The 3 000 carat-rock was discovered here, and now it’s just chilling as part of the crown jewels in Buckingham Palace. With it being worth $400 million, you’ve committed quite the robbery, haven’t you?
Hell, even the Oceans 11 gang never did anything that ballsy. We’ve also got our reservations about the gold plundered from Pilgrim’s Rest, Mpumalanga in 1880. We’re wondering if you could help us out.
@SakinaKamwendo Thank you 4 the bell.But Dear @CyrilRamaphosa please tell Theresa May that she forgot to also bring the Gold Nugget that the British took from Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga in the 1880’s.we want it back.#UpDateAtNoon
— Edward themba (@EdwardthembaSa) August 28, 2018
Okay, we’ve been tongue-in-cheek so far, but something that must come out of these talks is progress on the jobs front. With 27% of South Africans unemployed, all future trade deals have to consider what’s best for our economy – and those typically excluded from the jobs market.
We think it’s great that Theresa May is already promising the equivalent of R85 billion towards the whole continent of Africa. But that money has to go to the right place, and it has to be beneficial for the poorest residents of the continent, rather than just being centralised where big business already thrives.
— Annika Larsen (@AnnikaLarsen1) August 28, 2018
On that note, Theresa, this has got to be a partnership that works both ways. You clearly need the likes of South Africa to expand their business with you, to prop up whatever floundering Brexit deal is accepted by March 2019. When it goes through, there’ll be a heck of a lot of foreign workers heading “home”.
Plug the gap with South Africans. On behalf of colonialism, we speak your language, drive on the same side of the road and even operate in the same time zones, near enough.
South Africans will have none of the integration problems that British people fear comes with immigrant culture. We love our sport, our ale, animals and a great braai – or “barbeque”, as you lot insist on calling it. Thuma Mina, Theresa. We’ll be waiting.