1. Unpacking the institutional make-up and effectiveness of the SADC
Recent research suggests that the huge enthusiasm for regional agenda implementation and for a shared vision that was created by institutional reforms at SADC in 1998-2004 has somewhat subsided, partly as institutions failed to be effective. The new institutions that were established through this process and new linkages between the SADC Secretariat and National Committees, especially, have not functioned optimally. As a result, notwithstanding the consolidation of the regional development interests that were contained in over 10 different documents into a single, simplified and comprehensive regional programme, the RISDP, and the politics, security and stability agenda in SIPO, there has not been an improvement in the implementation of SADC decisions and programmes. This part of the project will make a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the current institutional make-up as a key driver of regional integration with a view to identifying weaknesses and opportunities for strengthening.
2. South Africa as a champion of effective institutionalisation in the SADC
This component of the study is aimed at making a case for a new approach to South Africa’s regional leadership through the strengthening of the web of institutions that are responsible for implementing regional decisions, programmes and plans, thus benefitting South Africa through enhanced regional citizenship and improved socio-economic outputs, including stronger intra-regional trade, stronger governance and more effective regional human development. However, South Africa’s better regional agency depends on the country acting in an exemplary fashion by fully establishing and strengthening its National Committee and influencing other countries to do the same. This section of the study will generate insights into options for South Africa’s regional agency or leadership on issues of development and governance.