Article from ROAPE Volume 18 Number 50
Future of Sthn Africa: What Prospects After Majority Rule?
In the debates about a post-apartheid future, the prospects for the region as a whole have been ignored. They depend first on the position of southern and South Africa in the global division of labour: this has worsened more than most areas since 1950 - even South Africa is more dependent today on exporting primary products; and regional trade, despite the Southern African Conference on Coordination and Development (SADCC), is declining. This deterioration could continue under the redefinition of economic activities now occurring in the world economy. These prospects also reflect the inherited realities: over and above the modest efforts of SADCC, southern Africa's long relations with the South African economy make it into a whole that is more than just a geographically specific set of peripheral states. Three possible scenarios are explored: the region's renewed and enhanced subordination to an apartheid-free South African economy; the break-up of regional ties and the subordination of each of the countries as separate ‘peripheries’ of one section or other of the developed core, as it itself is being redefined between the North Atlantic and Pacific; an alternative, equitable, co-operative regional association, embracing SADCC and South Africa. In the light of historical experience in southern Africa and elsewhere, this latter will face severe odds, cannot be left to dominant interests, and is only possible with regional alliances of anti-systemic forces.&break;Discusses: The Lessons of History: Region Formation and the World Economy; Regional Prospects in the Current Economic Crisis (Path One: Regional Restabilisation, Path Two: Regional Breakup and Peripheralisation, Path Three: Neo-Regionalism Alternatives, Propelling and Checking Forces); The Lessons and Contributions of Regional Institutions; The Prospects of a Co-operative Agenda; The Region in the World Economy; Radical Restructuring: What Prospects?; Anti-systemic Forces and Regional Restructuring; Shifting Regional and World Regimes.