August 17, 2015


image -Wikipedia-Suez Canal

On the New Suez Canal

We Move Into the Future

by Ramasimong Philip Tsokolibane

On behalf of my nation, South Africa, I would like to congratulate the people of Egypt and their leader President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on the opening of the New Suez Canal on August 6. This massive project, completed in the remarkable time of one year, is truly a new ‘gift for humanity’, as President el-Sisi stated at its opening ceremony.

I shall provide some details here of what was involved in this project, since the South African media has failed to adequately report on this accomplishment.

The full R108.2 billion cost of the project was financed entirely with domestic resources, mobilised with national bonds sold only to Egyptian citizens within in one week. The project involved deepening and widening the existing canal along 37 km of its total length of 193 km, as well as constructing two entirely new, parallel bypass canal segments totaling 35 km of the route. Five hundred and ten million cubic meters of earth and sand were excavated. Two-way traffic is now possible along most of the route, shortening the transit time from 18 hours to 11 hours, on average. The number of ships now able to transit the canal is now almost doubled, from 49 to 79 per day. The New Suez Canal can handle super-large cargo ships, with a maximum loaded weight of 240,000 DWT (deadweight tons)—large enough to handle the very largest of today’s container ships, and all but the ultra-large oil-tankers and dry bulk carriers.

The New Suez Canal vastly shortens shipping distances and times to Europe from the booming markets of Asia such as China and India, especially if the Greek port of Piraeus is expanded to become a principal port for much of these European imports and exports, with deep-water facilities and high-speed rail links extending into Europe.

The Canal expansion is only the first stage of a much broader development project that the Egyptian government has undertaken which includes major expansions of Port Said and Port Suez, a technology center in Ismailia, land reclamation, industrial parks, a half-dozen rail and road tunnels under the canal, and major city building.

The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), especially China and Russia, are playing a major role in these projects. In an interview with Al-Ahram during his visit for the inauguration of the New Suez Canal, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev emphasised that ‘creating a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal could be the first step in this project. Nuclear power engineering is a strategic area of Russian-Egyptian cooperation. I’m not overstating it. Russia is willing to help Egypt become a regional leader in the nuclear industry’.

But the significance of this New Suez Canal, accomplished in the heat of a global battle that will determine the future of civilisation on this planet, cannot be measured in tons of cement used or even in its prospect for expanded global trade.

As an African, I take pride in this project, part of the ‘World Land-Bridge’, undertaken and completed by Africans. It shows us what can be accomplished with foresight, intent, and planning to create a new future for this continent which has long suffered the privations of backwardness enforced by the economic imperialism of the British Empire and its now collapsing trans-Atlantic monetarist system. Such great projects are part of the Grand Design of a new world order that celebrates the dignity of man’s creativity, and his ability to shape his future. The imperialists would have us believe that we Africans are not capable of great things, such as this new canal, without help from our slave masters. But as the Egyptian President reminded the world in his remarks at the canal‘s opening, his country has a civilisation stretching back 7,000 years; Egyptians were navigating the world’s oceans when Europeans were little more than primitive tribes beating each other with clubs.

The New Suez Canal is consistent with the vision of a new just world economic order of the BRICS nations. Global development uplifts all peoples and improves their ability to contribute to human progress; cooperation among nations is the only real pathway for peace. Egypt’s achievement is a strategic victory against those forces, led by the British Queen and His Royal Virus, her Nazi-loving consort, Prince Phillip, whose stated intent is to eliminate 6 billion people from the Earth, including the entirety of the population of Africa, which they have arrogantly dubbed the ‘dark continent’. Egypt’s achievement, and the possibility for the future that it represents, helps defeat that enforced ‘darkness’.

Absent from the ceremonies that celebrated the Canal’s opening was the American President Barack Obama, who had chosen instead to come to our continent last month to lecture us on our ‘lack of democratic ideals’, and to demand that we follow the edicts of Wall Street and similar imperial powers, while loudly proclaiming his African descent. This lackey of his British royal masters does not represent the true and noble interests of the American people, whose history places them on the side of human progress represented by the New Suez Canal. This fake African Obama is hereby put on notice. We intend to determine our own future, one that walks away from the decadent and dying imperial system he represents. Let us hope that those who would remove him from office shall quickly succeed, before he launches a nuclear war to halt the human progress that the BRICS policies and the New Suez Canal represent.

I was particularly moved by the words of Egyptian engineer Ali el-Kholy, who worked on the canal expansion, as reported in a Nile-TV documentary on the project: ‘This canal is not just for us or for our children. It’s for all the coming generations. We will die, but it shall live on for hundreds of years, for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren’. It is for all future generations that we fight now. For the glory of all humanity to come. Let us rejoice in what Egypt has accomplished in the struggle, and dedicate ourselves, here in South Africa, to even greater accomplishments.



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