Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 November 2008
The official dismantling of apartheid, the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years imprisonment in Febuary 1990, and especially the first multi-racial elections in April 1994 followed by the inauguration of the Government of National Unity (GNU), have marked this decade as the most fascinating in the history of South Africa.
1 Bowman, Larry W., ‘The Subordinate State System of Southern Africa’, in International Studies Quarterly (Guildford, Surrey), 12, 3, 09 1968, pp. 231–61.Google Scholar Since then, several studies have further explored this line of research, notably, in the 1970s, Grundy, Kenneth, Confrontation and Accommodation in Southern Africa: the limits of independence (Berkeley, CA, 1973)Google Scholar, and Shaw, Timothy M. and Heard, Kenneth A. (eds.), Cooperation and Conflict in Southern Africa: papers on a regional subsystem (Washington, DC, 1977).Google Scholar
2 For example, Arnold, Millard W., ‘Southern Africa in the Year 2000: an optimistic scenario’, in CSIS Africa Notes (Washington, DC), 122, 28 03 1991;Google ScholarAyisi, Ruth A., ‘Waiting for the Giant’, in Africa Report (New York), 37, 2, 03 1992; pp. 65–7;Google ScholarVenter, Denis, ‘Some Thoughts on South Africa and Southern Africa’, in Africa Insight (Pretoria), 24, 3, 1994, p. 158;Google Scholar and Owusu, John, ‘The South Africans are Coming! Go North Young Man!’, in African Business (London), 191, 09 1994, p. 8.Google Scholar
3 See Baynham, Simon, ‘Defence and Security Issues in a Transitional South Africa’, in International Affairs Bulletin (Pretoria), 14, 3, 1990Google Scholar, and ‘Security Strategies for a Future South Africa’, in The Journal of Modern African Studies (Cambridge), 28, 3, 1990, pp. 401–30;Google Scholar and Vale, Peter, ‘The Search for Southern Africa's Security’, in International Affairs (London), 67, 4, 1991, pp. 697–708.Google Scholar
4 Including Vale, Peter, ‘A Drought Blind to the Horrors of War (… and the Challenge of Peace)’, in Die Suid-Afrika (Stellenbosch), 08–09 1992, pp. 51–2 and 57;Google ScholarLeistner, Erich, ‘Migration of High-Level African Manpower to South Africa’, in Africa Insight, 23, 4, 1993, pp. 219–24;Google Scholar and Head, Judith, ‘Migrant Mine Labour from Mozambique: employment prospects and policy options in the 1990s’, in Journal of Contemporary African Studies (Grahamstown), 13, 1, 01 1995, pp. 91–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
5 For example, Stoneman, Colin and Thompson, Carol B., ‘South Africa After Apartheid: economic repercussions of a free South Africa’, in Africa Recovery (New York), Briefing Paper No. 4, 12 1991, pp. 1–12;Google ScholarDavis, Robert, ‘Economic Growth in a Post-Apartheid South Africa: its significance for reforms within other African countries’, in Journal of Contemporary African Studies, II, 1, 1992, p. 57;Google ScholarLeistner, Erich, ‘Post-Apartheid South Africa's Economic Ties with Neighbouring Countries’, in Development Southern Africa (Pretoria), 9, 2, 05 1992, pp. 170–2,Google Scholar and ‘South Africa's Future: powerhouse or poorhouse?’, in Africa Insight, 23, 2, 1993, pp. 85–90.Google Scholar
6 Of course, several studies have discussed transportation as an important variable in the geopolitics of Southern Africa. For example: Burgess, Julian, Interdependence in Southern Africa: trade and transport links in South, Central and East Africa (London, 1976), EIU Special Report No. 32;Google ScholarLoubser, J. G. H., Transport Diplomacy with Reference to Southern Africa (Sandton, SA, 1980);Google ScholarFair, T. J. Denis, ‘The Beira, Maputo and Nacala Corridors’, in Africa Insight, 19, 19, 1989, pp. 21–4;Google ScholarKennedy, Thomas L., Southern African Transport-An Analytical Model (Pretoria, 1990);Google ScholarReichardt, Markus and Duncan, David, ‘Rail Transport and the Political Economy of Southern Africa, 1965–1980’, in Africa Insight, 20, 2, 1990, pp. 100–10;Google ScholarPirie, Gordon H., ‘Reorienting and Restructuring Transportation in Southern Africa’, in Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geographic/Netherlands Journal of Economic and Social Geography (Amsterdam), 82, 5, 1991, pp. 345–54;CrossRefGoogle ScholarEllison, Anthony P., ‘South Africa's Transport Policies’, in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (Bath, England), 26, 3, 09 1992, pp. 313–18;Google Scholar and Valigy, Ismael and Dora, Helmut, ‘The Creation of SADCC and the Problem of Transport’, in Vieira, Sergio, Martin, William G., and Wallerstein, Immanuel (eds.), How Fast the Wind? Southern Africa, 1975–2000 (Trenton, NJ, 1992), pp. 113–63.Google Scholar
8 Verchere, Ian, ‘South Africa Offers New Hope’, in Interavia: aerospace review (Geneva), 46, 08 1991, p. 5.Google Scholar
9 According to ‘Business Looks North at the Once-Forbidden Pastures of Africa’, in The Weekly Mail (Johannesburg), 23 02 1990, the northern dream lives on judged by a spate of recent business expansions.Google Scholar See also, Nyaktemba, Elias, ‘Watch Out, the South Africans are Coming’, in New African (London), 301, 10 1992, p. 29;Google ScholarJeune Afrique (Paris), 04 1995;Google ScholarThe New York Times, 5 06 1995;Google ScholarMisser, François, ‘Zaïre: Anglo to snap up Gecamines?’, in African Business (London), 07–08 1995, pp. 34–5;Google Scholar and ‘Investing in Africa: a new scramble’, in The Economist (London), 12–18 08 1995, pp. 17–19.Google Scholar
10 Lessing, Barry J., ‘The Role of Transport in the Economy of Southern Africa’, in Pegapisces (Randburg, SA), 5, 6, 07 1993, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
11 Griffiths, Iuean, ‘The Quest for Independent Access to the Sea in Southern Africa’, in The Geographical Journal (London), 155, 3, 11 1989, pp. 378–91, refers to ‘150 years of conflict between the major power in the south and lesser powers landlocked behind a great concordant escarpment which overlooks a narrow coastal province’.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
12 Kennedy, op. cit. pp. 1–2.
13 Probably the best known account of South Africa's destabilisation strategies is Hanlon, Joseph, Beggar Your Neighbours: apartheid power in Southern Africa (London and Bloomington, 1986).Google Scholar See also, Johnson, Phyllis and Martin, David (eds.), Destructive Engagement: Southern Africa at war (Harare, 1986) and Apartheid Terrorism: the destabilization report (London and Bloomington, 1989);Google Scholar and Smith, Susanna, Frontline Africa: the right to a future (Oxford, 1990).Google Scholar
14 Abrahamsson, Hans, ‘Transport Structures and Dependency Relations in Southern Africa: the need for a reorientation of Nordic aid’, in Odén, Bertil and Othman, Haroub (eds.), Regional Cooperation in Southern Africa: a post-apartheid perspective (Uppsala, 1989), p. 107.Google Scholar
15 Grundy, Kenneth W., ‘Economic Patterns in the New Southern African Balance’, in Carter, Gwendolen M. and O'Meara, Patrick (eds.), Southern Africa: the continuing crisis (Bloomington and London, 1979), p. 303.Google Scholar
16 For an example of this largely fruitless debate, see Maasdorp, Gavin, ‘The Southern African Nexus: dependence or interdependence?’, in Indicator South Africa (Durban), 4, 1986, pp. 5–19.Google Scholar
17 Abrahamsson, loc. cit. p. 106.
19 Abrahamsson, loc. cit. p. 108.
20 Strange, Susan, ‘The Defective State’, in Daedalus (Cambridge, MA), 124, 2, Spring 1995, p. 57.Google Scholar
21 Strange, Susan, ‘The Persistent Myth of Lost Hegemony’, in International Organization (Cambridge, MA), 41, 4, Autumn 1987, p. 547.Google Scholar
22 Strange, Susan, ‘States, Firms and Diplomacy’, in International Affairs (London), 68, 1, 01 1992, pp. 1–2.Google Scholar For more sophisticated development of this theory, see Stopford, John and Strange, Susan, Rival States, Rival Firms: competition for world market shares (Cambridge, 1991),CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Strange, Susan, States and Markets (London, 1994 2nd edn.).Google Scholar
23 See Mwase, Ngila, ‘The Liberalization and Deregulation of the Transport Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa’, in African Development Review (Abidjan), 5, 2, 12 1993, pp. 74–6.Google Scholar On the rôle of the World Bank in imposing these policies, see Collier, Paul, ‘From Critic to Secular God: the World Bank and Africa’, in African Affairs (London), 90, 358, 01 1991, pp. 111–17.Google Scholar
24 In late 1990, the Government of F. W. de Klerk undertook a massive privatisation programme, despite some stiff resistance from state agencies, whereby all the transport parastatals - i.e. the railways (Spoornet), some road transport (Autonet), South African Airways (SAA), and the port authority (Portnet)- were placed under Transnet as a financially autonomous management umbrella. The Government at the time claimed that the move was to ensure that each subsidiary must ‘return a satisfactory profit’, because ‘subsidies are now a thing of the past’. Critics, however, suggested that this was ‘a ploy with a public relations coating to ensure that a government elected under a new constitution will find it more difficult to implement a ‘nationalisation’ policy’. Crichton, John, ‘Portnet: a monopoly on the move’, in Containerisation International (London), 25, 2, 02 1991, p. 45.Google Scholar
25 For the impact of the state divestiture in the transport sector, see ‘SIR Economic Report: transport’, in SADCC Industrial Review, 1991–92 (Harare), pp. 33–5;Google ScholarLimpcott, G., ‘South Africa: ship to shore’, in Leadership (Johannesburg), p. 82;Google Scholar and Syndercombe, G., ‘An Agricultural Mentality’, in Armed Forces (Johannesburg), 12 1991, p. 19.Google Scholar
26 Ellison, loc. cit. pp. 313–18. See also, Bamford, Brian R., The Law of Shipping and Carriage in South Africa (Cape Town, 1983);Google ScholarJones, Thomas, The International Shipping Industry and South Africa's Seaborne Trade (Pretoria, 1987);Google Scholar and Berridge, Geoffrey, The Politics of the South African Run: European shipping and Pretoria (London and New York, 1987).Google Scholar
28 For an account of the collapse of the maritime conferences in West and Central Africa, and of Euro-African transport relations since the 1980s, see Iheduru, Okechukwu C., The Political Economy of International Shipping in Developing Countries (Newark, DE, 1996), ch. 4.Google Scholar
29 Galbraith, Sandy, ‘South Africa: a special report’, in Fairplay International Weekly (London), 22 03 1984, p. 27.Google Scholar
30 For the rôle of indigenous and foreign shipping lines in facilitating the apartheid régime's ability to circumvent international sanctions and embargoes, see LaMourie, Matthew, ‘Safbank [Line Ltd.] Adds Capacity Despite Sanctions’, in The American Shipper (Jacksonville, FL), 30, 11, 11 1988, pp. 36–7;Google ScholarKlinghoffer, Arthur J., Oiling the Wheels of Apartheid: exposing South Africa's secret oil trade (Boulder, CO, and London, 1989); Berridge, op. cit.;Google Scholar and Crichton, John, ‘Shrugging Off Sanctions’, in Containerisation International, 25, 11, 11 1991, pp. 38–41.Google Scholar
33 Indeed, the terms of the share purchase guaranteed that Safmarine could appoint (as it did in 1991) the chief executive officer (Graham Peirce) at the CMB-Transport headquarters in Brussels. See Hirshon, Gerald, ‘SAFMARINE: Belgian partner’, in Financial Mail, 6 09 1991, pp. 76–9.Google Scholar
34 On the rôle and effects of economic and political nationalism in the establishment of indigenous shipping companies, inter-port competition, and the demise of indigenous shipping fleets in West and Central Africa, see Iheduru, Okechukwu C., ‘Competing Nationalism, Regional Cooperation, and the Politics of International Shipping in West Africa’, in Ocean Development and International Law (Basingstoke), 24, 3, 08 1993, pp. 123–53.Google Scholar
35 See Crichton, ‘Hub Abidjan’, pp. 71–3.
36 ‘Faster Pace in East African Ports and Trades’, in Containerisation International, 04 1994, Africa Special Report, p. vi.Google Scholar
38 ‘Delmas Deal has Wide Effects on SA Shipping, F'warding’, in Freight World (Cape Town), 16, 1, 01 1992, p. 10.Google Scholar
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40 The leading companies in these consortia, however, appear to be doing relatively well. For instance, according to ‘Post-Apartheid Profits’, in African Business, 204, 11 1995, p. 28. Safmarine reported a 48.7 per cent rise in its operational profits to 06 1995 following a large shift in the economic fortunes of the South African economy, with imports increasing substantially by 40 per cent over the last two years.Google Scholar In addition, according to ‘Safmarine, CMBT to Join Liner Operations’, in The American Shipper, 37, 12, 12 1995, p. 13, Safmarine (51 per cent) and CMB-Transport (49 per cent) agreed to combine their north–south operations into a single venture on 1 January 1996. Together the two shipping lines will account for a turnover of more than $1,000 million and 400,000 container moves each year, and expect to deploy more than 50 ships and 70,000 containers in this trade.Google Scholar
41 See Yeats, Alexander, ‘Do African Countries Pay More for Imports? Yes’, in The World Bank Economic Review (Washington, DC), 4, 1, 01 1990, pp. 1–20.Google Scholar
42 See ‘Unicorn in Ivory Coast Accord’, in Freight World, 17, 6, 06 1993, p. 7,Google Scholar and Containerisation International, 06 1993, p. 17.
43 As reported in Africa Analysis (London), 6 06 1995,Google Scholar and Africa Research Bulletin: economic series (Oxford), 13 06 1995, p. 12169.Google Scholar See also, Scuder, Brian and Versi, Anver, ‘Freighting in Africa: full steam ahead’, in African Business, 204, 11 1995, pp. 27–8.Google Scholar
44 Interview with Captain Dave de Wet, Operations Manager, Unicorn Lines, 21 07 1994, Durban.
46 ‘Faster Pace in East African Ports and Trades’, in Containerisation International, 04 1994, p. ix.Google Scholar
48 Captain Dave de Wet, loc. cit.
49 See ‘SA Gears Up for Maputo’, in Freight World, 16, 9, 09 1992, p. 23;Google Scholar‘Privatization of Maputo Harbour?’, in South African Shipping News and Fishing Industry Review (Cape Town), 47, 1, 02 1992, p. 5;Google Scholar and ‘Swazi Sugar to Maputo’, in Freight World, 17, 7, 07 1993, p. 26.Google Scholar
52 The ‘Minutes of the Maputo Port Users Meeting, 9th February, 1994’, were kindly made available by André Heydenryck (General Manager, Transport Strategy, Transnet) and Simon Swanich (Manager, Operations Management Centre – Africa, Spoornet).
53 ‘Transport - Critical Factor in Mozambiques Economic Recovery’, in Railways and Seaports in Africa (Highlands North, SA), 1, 2, 03–04 1992, p. 3.Google Scholar
56 Interview with André Heyndenrych and Simon Swanich, 28 July 1994, Johannesburg.
57 ‘Minutes of Maputo Port Users Meeting, 9th Febuary, 1994’, p. 4.
58 ‘Privatization of Maputo Harbour?’, p. 5, and ‘Ports and Shipping: Mozambique’, in Africa Research Bulletin: economic series, 13 07 1995, p. 12169.Google Scholar
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60 For speculation on the future geo-political significance of Namibia's port, see Griffiths, Iuean ‘Walvis Bay: exclave no more’, in Geography (London), 79, 345, 10 1994, pp. 354–7.Google Scholar
62 See West, E., ‘Can Portnet be Both Umpire and Players?’ in South African Transport, 10 1991, p. 30;Google Scholar‘Portnet: prime mover in developing Southern Africa’, in Railways (Johannesburg), 01 1993, pp. 6–7;Google Scholar and ‘Waiting for the Rush’, in Transport Management, 04 1993, p. 30, which detail the various strategies designed by Portnet to gear itself up for bigger shipping volumes as soon as it became clear that sanctions would be lifted.Google Scholar
64 Portnet attributes the congestion to the more than 26 per cent increase in trade from 1994, in contrast to the planned 5 per cent. According to shipowners, however, Durban ‘is operating below accepted international standards’, not least since ‘the labour force is the problem’, and by Apirl 1995 they began making plans to levy additional delay charges which could further damage that port's competitiveness, thereby adversely affecting those land-locked countries which still rely on Durban for their import and export trades. See ‘Ports and Shipping: South Africa’, in Africa Research Bulletin: economic series, 16 04–15 05 1995, p. 12132.Google Scholar
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77 ‘Transport: bringing in the maize’, in Financial Mail, 17 04 1992, p. 74.Google Scholar Indeed, it has been reported that South Africa's share of United Nations procurements (including arms and supplies for peacekeeping operations) rocketed from $35 million in 1993 to $70–100 million in 1994, and that the UN would like the country to win more of its contracts. ‘More UN Business Comes to SA’, in SouthScan (London), 10, 18, 12 05 1995, p. 141.Google Scholar
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81 The ANC has, of course, realised the uphill battle faced in dealing with the relative autonomy of big business and the structural power it wields as a collectivity. See Pially, Vella, ‘ANC Takes Flexible Approach Toward Business Interests’, in African Business, 02 1992, pp. 17–19;Google ScholarGqubule, Duma, ‘ANC Economist Spells Out Future’, in The Star (Johannesburg), 19 02 1992, p. 17;Google Scholar and ‘A Business Truce with the ANC: leaders say they need each other’, in World Press Review (New York), 41, 3, 03 1994, pp. 14–15.Google Scholar
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84 Nyaktemba, loc. cit., who claimed that enterprises in other African countries have felt frustrated and threatened by the presence of South African investors.
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90 ‘South Africa: looking north of the Limpopo’, p. 6.