Occasional Paper

What Does the Future Hold for SACU? From Own Goal to Laduma! Scenarios for the Future of the Southern African Customs Union

“A group of Southern African Customs Union (SACU) experts and interested parties recently participated in a scenario-planning exercise on the future of SACU. This paper gives an account of the scenarios developed, which range from SACU collapsing to a scenario where it deepens
into a common market. The exercise first mapped out the key certainties and uncertainties that SACU is facing. These
range from the certainty that SACU will be impacted by the global economic slowdown to the uncertainty over whether an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be concluded and what the final content and configuration of this agreement will be. The impact of these circumstances (and
others) will shape the future of SACU. The group envisaged four possible futures for SACU and named them ‘Laduma! ’, ‘Wild Card’,
‘Own Goal’ and ‘Red Card’, with ‘Laduma! ’ representing the quadrant in which SACU’s ideal future lies. The key driving forces that would move SACU towards this goal include the conclusion of the EPA negotiations and a strong role for the SACU heads of state. Driving forces for a ‘Red Card’ scenario – a potential future in which South Africa no longer supports Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland and in which SACU collapses – are equally strong and plausible, with South African
political instability emerging as the strongest potential driving force.”