South africa and zimbabwe relationship

What is the extent of China's influence in Zimbabwe? - BBC News

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

international sanctions against Zimbabwe due to UDI, South Africa became diplomatic relations were resumed in April after South Africa's first. Relations among Liberation. Movements: SA and Zimbabwe. Wilfred Mhanda1. Introduction ince the establishment of Southern Rhodesia as a British colony in. South Africa–Zimbabwe relations have been generally cordial since the end of apartheid in South Africa, although there have been tensions due to political.

An agreement was also signed regarding mutual assistance between customs administrations between the two countries, which will further cooperation towards the establishment of a one-stop border post. This is viewed as a crucial milestone. Addressing a large contingent of local and international media following official talks between the two Presidents held behind closed doors, President Zuma said Ministers from South Africa and Zimbabwe will work together to ensure the implementation of the agreements and others that have been signed over the years.

He said South Africa and Zimbabwe not only share strong historical relations, but also strong economic cooperation to the extent that the economies of the two countries are historically and inextricably linked. However, there has been slow implementation of agreements in the past to balance trade between the two southern African countries. President Zuma said the fact that they discussed the trade balance and elevated relations to the level of a Bi-National Commission shows there is commitment to making sure relations benefit the two sides equally.

The South Africa-Zimbabwe Business Forum, which will meet on Thursday morning, is also expected to take economic relations forward. The forum, which will be attended by business leaders from both countries, will look at untapped opportunities for deeper economic cooperation in the fields of mining, water, energy, infrastructure development, transport and information communication technologies, among others.

Bolstering socio-economic ties President Mugabe said the state visit was a chance to improve socio-economic relations between the two counties. He said the fact that there were 10 Ministers that were part of the delegation to South Africa showed commitment to working together. At a more profound level, the notion of an African renaissance was an attempt to reconstruct South Africa's fractured identity in terms that reclaimed its African heritage while concurrently asserting a positive rationale for its engagement in continental affairs.

Mbeki's unveiling of the Millennium Africa Plan at the Davos meeting in early and its reconfiguration as the New Economic Programme for African Development NEPAD a year later is a further expression of this effort to provide the blueprint for constructing the continental revival.

The operational difficulties of giving substance to ethical considerations was paralleled by a reconsideration of the means of integrating pressing domestic developmental concerns against a torrent of globalisation and continuing conflict on the continent. This process culminated in the Department of Foreign Affairs' strategic review in early that sought to incorporate the government's neo-liberal economic policies embodied in the Growth, Employment and Redistribution programme alongside more traditional security concerns into the foreign policy framework.

South Africa in Africa: In the area of regional trade, the signing of the Maseru Protocol in put in motion a process that would ultimately establish a free trade area across the region, aimed both at building upon and rectifying the existing foundation for economic integration already implied by the legacy of the colonial infrastructure. Concurrently, the rapid expansion of South African corporate interests across the region, from South African Breweries to Standard Bank, anticipated the formal move to integrate Southern Africa's economies.

The Maputo Corridor, a public-private partnership centred on the transport link between Johannesburg and Maputo port city and capital of neighbouring Mozambique attracted millions of dollars in investment, was indicative of the new approach that coupled the promise of local prosperity to the imperative of South African economic hegemony In the area of regional security, the re-ignition of conflict in Laurent Kabila's newly established Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC in August saw armed African intervention on an unprecedented scale and divided the SADC between participants — Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe — and those states — South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique — seeking a negotiated solution to the conflict.

Exacerbating the divide within SADC was the controversial South African and Botswanan military intervention in Lesotho in September to uphold democratic elections.

How will the Zimbabwe situation affect South Africa?

In both cases, Zimbabwe and South Africa attempted to use the regional grouping through recourse to its security institutions to prop up their larger foreign policy objectives and in the process put the organisation's security apparatus into a condition of paralysis.

The on-going civil war in Angola, the internationalisation of the war in Congo and the mounting economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe threaten the integrity of these states as well as regional stability and with that, the very prospects of development. Against the background of these tumultuous events, the guiding principles of South African policy under Mbeki towards the crisis within SADC have centred upon three basic concerns: It bears repeating that the original impetus for SADC in was that of a vehicle for developmental regionalism and that was reflected in the fact that summit meetings were the responsibility of ministers of trade and finance of member states as opposed to traditional regional projects, which are usually the creature of their foreign ministries.

Indeed, a strategic review of the organisation completed in did not mention the need for the creation of a security sector but rather focused on structural issues related to development While the security apparatus may have been paralysed due to internal dispute and in a condition of suspension see belowthe all-important trade, transport and finance sectors continued to function and consume the bulk of the organisation's time and resources.

South Africa places great stock in the organisation's commitment to sign on to and activate the Maseru Trade Protocol, which opens the region to cross border exchange and is believed will set in motion greater development and conditions for regional integration, and does not want to jeopardise the realisation of these larger aims.

Sincethis approach has been overtaken by Mbeki's conciliatory tone that emphasises quiet diplomacy and consensus building between SADC member states. A contributing factor to this tack, ironically, could be the tradition of post-independence African leaders offering solidarity to one another — though Mbeki himself has spoken out against this in the wider OAU setting — which remains a cardinal principle of African inter-state relations.

The attempt to create an Association of Southern African States inwhich proposed to incorporate the now defunct Front Line States as a separate entity from the SADC Secretariat under the auspices of the heads of state and government, floundered exactly on this point of authority and autonomy The apparent ambiguity which was midwife to its creation and the subsequent effort to give specific content to its role was to become part of the on-going dispute over the nature and responsibilities of the Organ.

However, this became especially acute after Mugabe authorised SADC intervention in the Congo at a meeting of defence ministers on 18 August despite the fact that the Organ had been suspended in Blantyre incausing Mandela to convene an extra-ordinary SADC summit on 23 August to re-examine this decision. The South African position on the validity of SADC intervention under the auspices of the Organ was that it could only take place in terms that conform to Chapter VllI of the United Nations Charter, and therefore accede to the internationally recognised criteria for a regional security organisation and have the proper international authorisation.

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

From this perspective, the Organ was not constituted as a recognised freestanding regional entity but derives its position from its relationship under SADC Zimbabwean officials took the view that the Organ, like its predecessor the Front Line States, was a largely informal grouping of senior officials chaired by a troika of heads of state that operates alongside — but not under-SADC and therefore has a right to authorise intervention Indeed, the joint South African-Botswanan intervention into Lesotho, coming on the heels of the Zimbabwean led intervention in the Congo, while claimed by Pretoria to have taken place under SADC auspices, was arguably on even shakier ground than Mugabe's action.

Furthermore, the commitment to democracy and human rights — a feature of the SADC Treaty of — implies that there is a role for some form of interference in the domestic affairs of SADC member states that violate these conditions.

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Indeed, SADC actions supporting the Mozambican elections of and the Lesotho constitution crises in were conducted in the name of these values and have recently been reaffirmed by the foreign minister. That being said, it is clear that — beyond the structural disputation and the debate over lines of authority — there remains an unresolved conflict within SADC over the statutory commitment to promotion of democratisation and human rights and the maintenance of established norms of sovereignty.

Where necessary, use other multilateral instruments to pursue its conflict resolution strategy 20 Paul Hare, Angola's Last Best Chance for Peace: In particular, the OAU with its officially sanctioned regional initiatives such as the Arusha talks over Burundi, the United Nations with its various initiatives on Angola and the Congo, the Commonwealth on the Zimbabwe crisis, provide settings to give expression to South African foreign policy objectives.

Thus where SADC as an institution has been unable to muster a strongly articulated position on a conflict due to the involvement of its constituent members, the South African government has been able to participate in other multilateral initiatives that actively promote its concern to bring about peaceful resolution to these conflicts.

South Africa–Zimbabwe relations - Wikipedia

Sources of influence upon the South African response have been, first and foremost, the domestic environment and the vulnerability of the ANC government on the question of land restitution and redistribution, something that domestic political parties have sought to exploit.

Another factor has been the regional states and the desire to maintain cohesion within SADC during this period of multiple crises facing the organisation. And, finally, the international community and — especially seen through the media - its expectations of South Africa have been a constant source of pressure. An influential report produced by the Africa Institute of South Africa, the result of a government-instigated mission to Zimbabwe in earlycharacterised the crisis in the following terms.

In the first instance, there is a crisis of legitimacy as a result of the erosion of the post-colonial consensus built during the course of the liberation struggle. There is a crisis of expectations coming from the deteriorating economic situation and the failure of structural adjustment measures to halt the erosion of social and economic gains of the independence period.

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

And there is a crisis of confidence in the institutions of the state, inspired by the actions of the security forces and intimidation of the judiciary Since that time, various efforts to institutionalise international support for an orderly approach to redistribution have failed.

Concurrently, the implementation of a structural adjustment programme in the early s, in conjunction with the difficulties experienced in competing in the emergent international trading environment, resulted in a contraction of the economy by 8 per cent inunemployment increasing to over 50 per cent, double-digit inflation despite World Bank predictions that it would drop and a collapse in social services. Finally, with the ending of the Lancaster House constitution invarious attempts have been made by Mugabe to alter aspects of it so as to further entrench Zanu rule through the creation of a one-party state or, after that failed, to severely circumscribe the role of other sectors or power bases.

While these considerations exercised influence over South African decision making towards the crisis in Zimbabwe, the foreign policy approach adopted by Pretoria has experienced an evolution from denial to constructive engagement and, in the wake of near collapse of law and order in Zimbabwe in the run up to presidential elections, disillusionment. The period of denial 29While it was evident to some observers as early aswhen the war veterans rioted upon discovering their pensions had suddenly disappeared, that the problems facing Zimbabwe were deeply structural in nature rather than a passing crisis, in most South African political and business circles there was every expectation that Harare in conjunction with the international community would resolve these matters.

The steady trickle of illegal immigrants across the Limpopo, the economic difficulties experienced in bi-lateral trade, the onset of strikes by public sector workers protesting against the fall in their standard of living, the drying up of Zimbabwean-sourced investment capital and the nascent political activism aimed against Zanu all could be seen in hindsight as warning shots of a coming crisis.

This shift was fuelled, on the one hand, by the recognition that military intervention in the name of SADC by Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia jeopardised the institutionalised nature and conduct of the regional organisation given its uncertain basis of action and, on the other hand, was a direct challenge to South African aspirations to regional leadership.

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

The hastily organised and poorly implemented joint South African-Botswanan operation in defence of constitutional rule in Lesotho the following month, which arguably had a weaker SADC mandate than the intervention in the Congo, was considered by many observers to be a direct response to events in the Congo With SADC effectively split between two poles — Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia versus South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique — Pretoria's ambitions for regional development and indeed its own role the continental leader were called into question.

At the same time, the European Union put its aid programme under review following a confrontation with Zimbabwe over the Congo issue.

South Africa’s Relations with Zimbabwe – Book Series

Open discord within Zanu itself was increasingly voiced, especially after the economic costs of the land invasions and the Congo intervention began to take their toll By Octoberwith the installation of technocrat Simba Makoni as finance minister in Mugabe government, a concerted effort was launched to halt the slide through currency devaluation, reduction of bank rate, limitations on government borrowing and reduction of state salaries.

However, cabinet ministers anxious to bring the farm invasions to an end found their actions continually blocked by Mugabe South Africa's trade and investment interests in Zimbabwe were still substantial and, despite the cost to the rand and its own international reputation, underscores the fact that Zimbabwe is South Africa's largest trading partner in Africa.

The imposition of economic sanctions would impose high costs on South African businesses operating in the country, in addition to incurring domestic political fallout with uncertain consequences The very real fear that a seriously destabilised Zimbabwe would ignite refugee flows and greater economic chaos across the region also stayed Pretoria's hand and exercised influence over fellow SADC states who themselves were not part of the triple intervention in the Congo.

With the involvement of Angola and Namibia in what amounted to a de facto alliance with Zimbabwe to support the Kabila regime in Kinshasa, the threat to SADC unity is very real indeed.

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

It also undertook to serve as an intermediary between the Bretton Woods Institutions and Harare, giving voice to the concerns of the Zimbabwean state and business. This is especially the case in the volatile area of land reform that Mbeki personally sought to resolve by seeking out foreign financial resources to pay for the purchase and legal transfer of white-owned farms.

It sought to avoid any form of sanctions that would, it was felt, bring about a full economic collapse as well as directly damage South African commercial interests in the process. At the same time, the South African government entered into a number of discussions with Mugabe that, for the most part, sought to give public assurances of support to him and the concerns over the land issue while suggesting through private channels Pretoria's mounting concerns.

The Constitution Commission's liberalising reforms to the constitution, which had had substantive input from civil society, were rejected by the government in early February Contrary to expectations, He hoped through bringing pressure to bear upon Mugabe in private, while indicating support for his government publicly, the upcoming elections would be free and fair.

south africa and zimbabwe relationship

A summit meeting between Mugabe and the leaders of South Africa and Mozambique in April ended with Mbeki and Chissano proclaiming solidarity with the Zimbabwean leader, and privately voicing their concerns. This public position was echoed again by Mbeki at the Zimbabwean Trade Fair later that same year.

DISCUSSION: SA, Zimbabwe bilateral relations with Owen Nkomo

The SADC foreign ministers meeting in late announced that the security sector would be included in the overall restructuring of the organisation and this was confirmed at the Heads of State summit in Windhoek in March