Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj and African National Congress (ANC) spokesman Jackson Mthembu have justified the government's lending $2bn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) while Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) spokesman Patrick Craven has denounced the move.

Mr Maharaj said it was like lending money to a big bank. How does a developing country like SA with so many stupendous socioeconomic problems lend money to a big bank? Isn't it like taking coal to Newcastle?

Mr Mthembu is an unsophisticated spokesman who seems not to understand that the Bretton Woods institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank were not set up to help the developing countries but the countries of Europe after the Second World War. And why should we bail out European and US banks who created the housing bubble through insecure lending and peekaboo finance?

As for Mr Craven, his federation runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds. Cosatu is condemning the ANC government, and rightfully so - however, come election time, it will be urging voters to vote for the ANC.

This government should reconsider and reverse the decision. The Pan Africanist Congress and Black Consciousness organisations are again silent when they should be defending the poor's resources by speaking out against pouring SA's money into a bottomless pit.

Sam Ditshego