THE JACOB ZUMA GOVERNMENT’S FOREIGN POLICY: ASSOCIATION OR DISSOCIATION?
Keywords:South Africa, Jacob Zuma, Foreign Policy,
In an attempt to bring coherence and predictability to South African foreign policy, the government of Jacob Zuma has, since assuming office in May 2009, put emphasis on forging relations with countries and regions, and key international relations issues and concerns. According to policy, the pursuit of the national interest lay at the heart of the Republic’s international strategies, with ‘national interest’ being used as a cement to hold together the edifice of post-Mbeki government’s foreign policy. On paper, the government appears to have gone far in articulating this ambitious foreign policy, however a number of questions arise. Have these policies been put into practice and if so do they follow the stated agenda or are there serious deviations? Has there been association with Mbeki’s policies on paper and dissociation from such policies in practice?
How do the various tenets of foreign policy relate to the epicentre of the national interest and to one another? Do they represent a marked shift from the previous Mbeki government’s African Agenda’ or are they a mere copy? This paper seeks to answer these questions, in particular investigating whether a gap has developed between articulated, or stated, policy and how it was pursued in practice, through implementation.