Will Trump Affect South Africa? Yes, And Here’s How.

In a skit for the Jimmy Kimmel show, Samuel L. Jackson said  that if Trump wins he’ll take his ‘black ass to South Africa’. But it doesn’t look much better here either, Samuel.

These are the many ways in which we might expect Donald Trump’s run as president of the US to affect our wee republic:


It’s telling of the uncertainty the financial market feels following Trump’s win, that the Mexican peso dropped by 11% following his election. However it is expected, what may shock you is the far reaching effect it had on the rand as well.

The rand dropped by 3.7% following the election. This uncertainty means investors will likely pull out of ’emerging markets’ (South Africa for example) as they will see them as risks.

Debt Rescue CEO, Neil Roets, told Business Tech that the ripple effect of uncertainty in financial markets will affect indebted consumers in SA. Ratings agency, Moody’s, predicts that the 4 major SA banks will experience a spike in loans as our economy struggles to grow. This is a problem for a nation already so deep in debt.

It’s estimated that Trump’s win will continue to affect our economy for 12 to 18 months more.


Spoiler: It’s ignorant.

Social media snippets of things Trump has thoughtfully penned on the African continent show that Trump doesn’t value Africa but problematically looks down on the continent, seeing it and it’s leaders as something to boss around. His fatalistic view of the continent will further entrench ignorance and damage trading and investing prospects, if not only with the US itself.

SA has economic, political and military ties to the U.S that may be compromised by these views.

Hi disinterest and ignorance surrounding the continent will likely affect the US’ involvement and assistance in domestic issues and policy.

Even more problematic is his statement that Africa should be ‘recolonized’. We’re not sure if this is 100% true, but how worrying is it that we wouldn’t be surprised if it were?


Professor André Heymans from the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the North-West University predicts that under Trump,” the US will want to be more self-sustaining, resulting in less manufactured goods being imported to the US from other countries – including South Africa… Trump will [raise] import costs as to make it cheaper for Americans to buy locally produced goods..” The hike in import costs will “severely hurt South Africa’s economy”, as South Africa imports more goods from the USA than it exports to them.

The US is a major trading partner of South Africa. Trading deals such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) enable SA and other African countries to export tax free with the US. AGOA also provides jobs.

This along with his clear neglect to mention Africa when outlining his plans for foreign policy in April will all strongly affect South Africa.


Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax’, and intends on pulling out of environmental deals, most worryingly, the historic Paris Agreement which commits governments to keeping a global temperature rise of below 2 degrees Celsius. Shocking seeing as the US is the second largest pollution emitter in the world. Consider that drastic climate change will  result in millions of people in Southern Africa going hungry.


And we’re not talking about white supremacy, although the surge in hate speech and racially-charged violence in America alone following his election is scarily telling about the general mindset of his voters.

We’re talking about ISIS. Taliban commanders and Islamic State supporters have predicted that Trump’s fear-mongering will be a useful tool for recruitment of disaffected Islamic youth. They have a point, and Boko Haram will no doubt benefit from this too.


For all the harsh things Trump has to say about the inhumanity African leaders treat their people with, it is surprising how hypocritically he mirrors many of these leaders’ sentiments when it comes to inequality and race issues. Trump has been blatantly homophobic, sexist and racist before and during his presidential campaign. Having these beliefs be validated by a world leader will only serve to bolster these leaders’ views.

His crusade against immigrants in the US encourages xenophobia.

Not only is it an issue of leading by example, Trump may also either pull or cut US funding to womens NGOs in Africa that provide healthcare for disadvantaged women- services like abortion will be first to go.

His refusal to deal with inequality and racism within his own country does not represent a bright example for developing countries, like ours.