Take the issue of 'Boer' out of this and I agree 100% and have been saying for years that SA won the South African war of destabilisation. I remember in 1984 being in Harare working with Zimbabweans on a book on regional politics, when we had a team of SA venture capitalists visit us. They told us that SA entrepreneurs were opposed to apartheid, and to the war of destabilisation, and were keen to move beyond both. 'We are well placed to serve the rest of Africa,' they assured us, better placed than the industrialised West, 'as we understand Africa. We are closer and have the infrastructure to serve Africa'.
They were looking forward to the time when politics would allow them to move out from SA's borders. I doubt the impetus comes from the 'Boers' though - this is internationalized capital and its going to be increasingly black SA capital (as Black Economic Empowerment takes hold). Mugabe and his people were well-aware of the SA 'threat' as Zimbabwean entrepreneurs hoped to spread beyond their borders too. When I was working in Uganda in the late 90s I took note of the struggle there between SA and Kenyan capital, both anxious to capture the re-emerging Ugandan market, in terms of media, supermarkets, hotels, travel companies, etc.
Who owns the Kenyan capital and companies? Is it 'Indians' (as Ugandans complained)? Probably in part, but the issue is not ethnicity any more than it is in SA's case with the Boers - its a matter of capital doing its capitalist thing, moving in to places where there are markets, profits to be made, and competing with other capital in the process. Now, the question is, is this bad for Africa?
Well, having lived in 'black' Africa for 14 years and worked in 6 different 'black' African countries, I can say that there is a lot of room for improvement in the way things operate on the continent, e.g., in the provision of goods and services, development of infrastructure, raising of capital for investment, etc... all those things needed to improve livelihoods and living conditions. Will capitalism do this, SA, Kenyan, international or not? If not capitalist forms of production, what other ways to improve the livelihoods of Africa's millions?
People talk of trade (rather than aid) doing the job of development - but trading what? How to raise production without capital and capitalist forms of ownership/work/etc? We are running out of alternatives as we have seen state-sponsored economic development, local capitalism and patrimonialist forms of economic organisation fail to serve the needs of the masses. What other form of development can we try that have a good chance of improving the living standards of Africans? SA's entrepreneurs have seen an opportunity and have moved in. Will that help improve Africans' standard of living (compared to aid? compared to the otherwise minimal investment/trade in Africa coming from the North?) Its a problem I have debated in my own head for years.