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Dawn Nagar Discusses the Issue of South Africa Prioritising Domestic Concerns Over Regional and Global Ones

Region-building in Southern Africa Dawn Nagar, co-editor of Region-building in Southern Africa: Progress, problems and prospects, wrote an article for The Sunday Independent, which was republished by the Centre for Conflict Resolution, on South Africa boosting economic growth through an increased investment in infrastructure and an increase in trade.

Nagar writes that “the extent to which South Africa should prioritise domestic concerns over regional and global ones in pursuit of these goals remains unclear”.

The idea of boosting economic growth through increasing trade and investing in infrastructure is clearly articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP) of 2011. However, although Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan expanded on this in his budget speech to Parliament three months ago, the extent to which South Africa should prioritise domestic concerns over regional and global ones in pursuit of these goals remains unclear.

Pretoria believes that successful economic integration in Southern Africa and the continent as a whole depends on solid infrastructure, particularly good roads, workable railway lines, efficient border posts, and well-co-ordinated customs unions. South Africa’s infrastructure is well established but more still needs to be done to integrate it within the Southern African region. For example, a lack of co-ordination among national rail systems leads to serious delays and freight often being diverted from rail to roads.

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