The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has rejected the new Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique SACUM-UK- Economic Partnership deal which the Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel has announced.

Patel told the National Assembly that South Africa’s trade relationships with the UK would continue without disruption, regardless of Brexit.

This comes as SACUM enters into new partnership with the UK.

The six SACUM countries are South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana and Namibia.

The EFF Chief Whip, Floyd Shivambu has criticised the new deal and Patel.

“The Minister of Trade and Industry comes here to have some neo-colonial exuberance in speaking about a new colonial status in the so called new deal with Britain or the UK in General. The reality is that there won’t be anything fundamentally shifting in terms of the colonial status that South Africa occupies in its trade relationship with the United Kingdom.”

“So what that trade relationship will do, is to continue to benefit the minority white agricultural practitioners and the European companies that are invested in the manufacturing sector. So it is to say, now that the ultra-nationalists in the UK have relinquished their Pan Continentals project by voting to leave the European economic community South Africa goes to beg that, please don’t affect the white minority control of the economy of South Africa,” Shivambu adds.

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Patel’s announcement of a new trade partnership deal between the six SACUM countries and the United Kingdom.

The DA’s Dean Mc Pherson says the deal will benefit South Africa.

“Until the 31 of 31st October 2019, this access via the EPA to the United Kingdom will remain. However, should the United Kingdom leave the EU without a deal, this renewed agreement will come into effect. This gives our industries and our farmers much certainty, so that they can continue to invest in their production capacities as well as to maintain the 175 000 jobs which were employed by businesses and farmers that trade with the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is an important market for South Africa and Western Cape exports.”