Briefing Paper

Zimbabwe and South Africa: Security Takes Precedence Over Economy

“South Africa and its partners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) removed Zimbabwe from its agenda following the July 2013 elections in Zimbabwe, which saw Zanu-PF return to power. The decision by SADC to end regional monitoring for Zimbabwe was based on security and political considerations that overlooked the longer-term implications of a slow economic meltdown. The decision also highlights how South Africa’s economic diplomacy has not progressed much beyond the promotion of trade and investment. A key factor hindering its success is the lack of co-operation and communication between the South African government and the private
sector. South Africa’s relationship with Zimbabwe would benefit from a shared
approach that involves all stakeholders.”