Leading Lights: South Africa, Africa can learn from China to spur development

Cedric Frolick, the House Chairperson of Committees in the South African Parliament
Cedric Frolick, the House Chairperson of Committees in the South African Parliament

South Africa and Africa at large ought to learn and implement the good practices adopted by China in efforts to address its development challenges, according to a high-ranking member of South Africa’s Parliament.

Speaking to CGTN, Cedric Frolick, the House Chairperson of Committees in the South African Parliament, said he has visited China frequently and had witnessed first-hand the success that can be achieved from deliberate government efforts and political goodwill.

“Sustainable development is the cornerstone of people development, and South Africa has a lot of developmental challenges that are there, but we can learn from our Chinese friends, with the measures that they are concretely putting in place to address the development of their people,” he said.

Frolick pointed out that China had proven to be a reliable friend and partner for Africa, having stood firmly with the continent on occasions when various challenges arose.

He noted that the show of solidarity was a source of pride for Africa, which remains assured of China’s support moving forward.

“China is firstly a reliable partner in the world, a friend that you can trust and a friend that you can count on in times of need,” said Frolick.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Africa as well as South Africa, China was the first country to offer a helping hand, not only in words but concretely in providing aid to South Africa and the African continent. We are very proud of our relationship with China, we support the One China Principle, and also the territorial sovereignty of the Chinese people.”

The South African parliamentarian also acknowledged the benefits Africa had achieved from its cooperation with China, including on trade and infrastructure development.

He called upon the continent to use the Belt and Road Initiative to spur their development across multiple sectors.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is a very, very important mechanism, to firstly provide infrastructure development on the African continent which is sadly lacking in a lot of African countries,” he said.

“Once the infrastructure is improved, then we will see further economic development taking place. This must be a win-win situation between South Africa and African countries in general and China, where we tap into our mutual relationship partnership and expertise to advance people’s development to take place.”

China and South Africa have enjoyed more than 20 years of diplomatic relations, and Frolick is keen to see the relations strengthen even more in the years ahead.