Advertisement

Between domestic interests and regional obligations: class compromise and the evolution of South Africa’s development cooperation programme

  • Janis van der WesthuizenEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

This paper examines the evolving debate about South Africa’s role in international development cooperation since the emergence of the African Renaissance Fund (ARF) in 2001. It identifies three key discursive findings. First, various domestic stakeholders are supportive of South Africa playing a leadership role in international affairs, with the proviso that these international engagements feed back into economic growth and jobs at home. Second, much of the debate concerns the lack of sufficient accountability measures with the ARF. However, the politically problematic disjuncture between xenophobic attitudes and actions at the societal level and Pretoria’s claim to advance the ‘African Agenda’ as a pillar of its foreign policy complicates South Africa’s development cooperation agenda. With the creation of a fully fledged development agency, three countervailing discourses have emerged in order to ‘sell’ South Africa’s role as a player in development cooperation. First, the South African Development Partnership Agency proponents argue that the new agency seeks to align development assistance programmes more strategically with the country’s own economic interests. Second, the Foreign Ministry has promised more rigorous assessment procedures. Third, to counter anti-African immigrant attitudes, a counter discourse of interdependence by government officials prevails. This discourse emphasises moral values and the benefits that economic development in the region brings to South African businesses and reduces the flow of immigrants.

Keywords

African Renaissance Fund (ARF) Development cooperation Regional powers South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA) South African foreign policy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am indebted to various anonymous JIRD reviewers for valuable suggestions, as well as to Aletta Brook, Nissan Besharati, and Stephen Brown for information and comments on an earlier draft. This work is based on the research supported by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. However, the author accepts sole responsibility for its contents.

References

  1. Alden C., and G. Le Pere. 2009. South Africa in Africa: Bound to Lead?. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Science 36(1): 145–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ANC. 2012. Recommendations from the 4th National Policy Conference, June 2012. http://www.anc.org.za/docs/reps/2012/report_%20tactics.pdf. Accessed 15 Jul 2014.
  3. Besharati, Nissan. 2013a. The Establishment of the South African Development Partnership Agency: Institutional Complexities and Political Exigencies. South African Journal of International Affairs 20 (3): 357–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Besharati, Nissan. 2013b. South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA): Strategic Aid or Development Packages for Africa?, Research Report 12, Economic Diplomacy Programme, South African Institute for International Affairs, August.Google Scholar
  5. Besharati, Nissan, and C. Rawhani. 2016. South Africa and the DRC: Evaluating a South-South Partnership for Peace and Governance and Development, Occasional Paper No. 235, South African Institute for International Affairs, July 2016.Google Scholar
  6. Brook, Aletta. 2014. Exploring the Policy Process Leading to the Establishment of the African Renaissance Fund, Research Report, Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, unpublished MA thesis.Google Scholar
  7. COSATU. 2012. Response to the ANC Discussion Paper on the Second Transition 20 May 2012. http://osf.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Cosatu-The-internationalist-perspective-of-the-Second-Transition.pdf. Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
  8. DIRCO. 2011. Building a Better World: The Diplomacy of Ubuntu, White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy. http://www.safpi.org/sites/default/files/publications/white_paper_on_sa_foreign_policy-building_a_better_world_20110513.pdf. Accessed 12 Nov 2013.
  9. EFF. 2016. On Development of the African Economy. http://effighters.org.za/policy/development-of-the-african-economy/. Accessed 18 Nov 2016.
  10. Estimates of National Expenditures. 2016. Pretoria: National Treasury. http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2016/ene/FullENE.pdf. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  11. Fabricius, P. 2011. Aid: SA Eating Its Cake Too…. Daily News, 30 August.Google Scholar
  12. Ford, J. 2014. Engaging the Private Sector in Post-Conflict Recovery: Perspectives for SADPA. Institute for Security Studies, ISS Paper 269, October.Google Scholar
  13. Global Opportunity. 2009. Global Opportunity. The Democratic Alliance’s Proposal for a Rational, Rules-Based and Ethical Foreign Policy. http://da.wwc.co.za/docs/10374/foreign-affairs.pdf. Accessed 15 Jul 2013.
  14. Gordon, Steven. 2015. Xenophobia Across the Class Divide: South African Attitudes Towards Foreigners, 2003-2012. Journal of Contemporary African Studies 33 (4): 494–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hartley, W. 2010. SA millions “propping up rogue states”. Business Day, 6 August.Google Scholar
  16. Henson, S. 2013. South Africa Public Opinion Monitor: Baseline Survey Results, Evidence Report No. 30: Policy Anticipation, Response and Evaluation, Institute for Development Studies, Sussex.Google Scholar
  17. Lancaster, C. 2007. Foreign Aid: Diplomacy. Development, Domestic Politics, Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Langeni, L. 2010a. Aid Agency, Policy Body on SA’s Cards. Business Day, 26 October.Google Scholar
  19. Langeni, L. 2010b. Big Spender’s Plans to Help Poor Countries. Business Day, 29 December.Google Scholar
  20. Langeni, L. 2011. SA’s Own Aid Agency “a Threat to Foreign Funding”. Business Day, 15 July.Google Scholar
  21. Louw-Vaudran. 2013. SA’s Role on the African Continent. Mail and Guardian, 29 November.Google Scholar
  22. Lucey, A. and A. O’Riordan. 2014. South Africa and Aid Effectiveness: Lessons for SADPA as a Development Partner, Institute for Security Studies, ISS Paper 252, January.Google Scholar
  23. Magubane, Khulekani. 2013. ‘Warnings as “Big Brother” SA Eyes the Aid Business. Business Day, 21 August.Google Scholar
  24. Mail and Guardian. 2013. Majila on Special Leave After Half-a-Billion Rand Corruption Charge, 19 September.Google Scholar
  25. Masters, L. 2014. Building Bridges? South African Foreign Policy and Trilateral Development Cooperation. South African Journal of International Relations 21 (2): 177–191.Google Scholar
  26. Mawdsley, E. 2012. From Recipients to Donors: Emerging Powers and the Changing Development Landscape. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  27. Mokgapa, S., Shadow Minister of International Relations. 2015. May 21 Speech, Proceedings of the Extended Public Committee. https://www.parliament.gov.za/storage/app/media/Docs/hansard/615773_1.doc. Accessed 11 Oct 2017.
  28. Nel, P. 1999. The Foreign Policy Beliefs of South Africans: A First Cut. Journal of Contemporary African Studies 17 (1): 123–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nkoana-Mashabane, Maite. 2009. Statement by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the Name Change to Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 14 May. http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/speeches/2009/mash0514.html. Accessed 13 Jul 2010.
  30. PMG. 2000. Abuja Treaty: African Renaissance and International Cooperations Fund Bill: Briefing. https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/231/. Accessed 15 Jul 2013.
  31. PMG. 2011. South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA) Establishment. https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/13181/. Accessed 15 Jul 2013.
  32. PMG. 2016a. Brexit Impact: DIRCO & Institute for Global Dialogue; SA-EU & EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreements: Foreign Policy Impact; African Renaissance Fund 4th Quarter 2015/16 Performance, 31 August, 2016. https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/23170/. Accessed 30 Oct 2016.
  33. PMG. 2016b. South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA), Progress Report, 17 February, 2016. https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/22022. Accesed 30 Oct 2016.
  34. Radebe, H. 2008. SA Ready to Meet Africa’s Needs. Business Day, 21 February.Google Scholar
  35. Rowlands, D. 2008. Emerging Donors in International Development Assistance: A Synthesis Report. http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Documents/donors-international-development-synthesis-report.pdf. Accessed 12 Jul 2013.
  36. Royeppen, A., and S. Naidu (eds.). 2016. Development Diplomacy Workshop: Proceedings Report. Pretoria: Institute for Global Dialogue.Google Scholar
  37. Sidiropoulos, E. 2012. South Africa: Development, International Cooperation and Soft Power. In Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns, ed. S. Chaturvedi, T. Fues, and E. Sidiropoulos, 216–242. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  38. South Africa Survey. 2017. Braamfontein: South African Institute of Race Relations.Google Scholar
  39. SAFPI (South African Foreign Policy Initiative). 2012. South African Companies in Security Related Activities and Business: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, 25 October. http://www.safpi.org/publications/south-african-companies-security-related-activities-and-business. Accessed 15 Jul 2013.
  40. Tapula, T., P. de Kock, and K. Sturman. 2011. South Africa’s Development Partnership Agency: A Burden or Blessing?. http://www.saiia.org.za/opinion-analysis/south-africas-development-partnership-agency-a-burden-or-blessing. Accessed 16 Jul 2013.
  41. Thérien, J., and A. Noël. 2000. Political Parties and Foreign Aid. American Political Science Review 94 (1): 151–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tjonneland, E. 2013. Providing Development Aid to Africa: Comparing South Africa with China, India and Brazil, SAFPI Policy Brief No. 25. http://www.safpi.org/sites/default/files/publications/SAFPI_Policy_Brief_25.pdf. Accessed 12 Sept 2014.
  43. Van der Westhuizen, J. 1998. South Africa’s Emergence as a Middle Power. Third World Quarterly 19 (3): 435–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Van der Westhuizen, J. 2013. Class Compromise as Middle Power Activism: Comparing South Africa and Brazil. Government and Opposition 48 (1): 80–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van der Westhuizen, J., and Smith K. 2015. Pragmatic internationalism: Public opinion on South Africa's role in the world. Journal of Contemporary African Studies 33 (3): 318-347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vickers, B. 2012. Towards a New Aid Paradigm: South Africa as an African Development Partner. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 25 (4): 535–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yanacopulos, H. 2014. The Janus Face of a Middle Power: South Africa’s Emergence in International Development. Journal of Southern African Studies 40 (1): 203–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Interview

  1. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Pretoria, personal interview by the author, 12 September 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations