Since President Zuma’s last visit to the DRC in October 2013, the security situation in the DRC has evolved markedly.
Notwithstanding operational challenges on the ground, South Africa’s role through the Intervention Brigade within the framework of the United Nations Stabilisation Force has been constructive in securing the eastern DRC. With 95% of the territory seen as safe, the task of socio-economic development in the DRC has never been so urgent. Provided it focuses on the right mix of interventions, South Africa – having invested close to US$ 1billion in the country – is well positioned to articulate an optimistic scenario for the DRC.
There is no doubt that economic development is the last frontier in creating a capable state in the DRC – one affording sustainable opportunities for the majority of citizens. But current political brinkmanship can potentially undermine the legacy of President Thabo Mbeki, who laboriously sponsored the Sun City Agreement in 2002. Yet, this agreement crafted a sound basis for a future constitutional and multiparty democratic order in the DRC.