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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From colonial administration to development funding: characterisations of SACU as a governance mechanism
Authors:Gibb, RichardISNI
Treasure, Karen
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic terms:Southern Africa
South Africa
revenue allocation
Abstract:Throughout its 100-year history, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has evolved, being utilised as a mechanism of control by Britain and South Africa during the colonial and apartheid eras, respectively. More recently, SACU has undergone a process of increased democratisation and neo-liberal prioritisation reflecting Africa's desire to engage and compete more effectively in the world economy. Current pressures to reformulate SACU, focused on renegotiating the institutional infrastructure and the all-important Revenue Distribution Formula (RDF), reflect a subtle but significant potential change in the governance framework mediating relations between member states: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS), and South Africa. This paper explores the nature and context of proposed changes, specifically considering levels of governance affected through past and current SACU Agreements between South Africa and the BLNS states. In particular, the paper explores the implications of replacing elements of the RDF with a proposed 'development fund'. This discussion takes as its point of departure wider literatures of power relations created and maintained by development funding. It is argued that possibilities for intervention in the domestic affairs of the BLNS states are only increased by the move to an administered development fund, despite rhetoric that this will give increased potential for regional development. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]