Swazi Observer (Mbabane)
By Manqoba Makhubu
THE ongoing political discords in South Africa and Zambia will hit both the country and the Southern African region hard.
This is an observation by Southern African Research Foundation for Economic Development (SARFED) Regional Coordinator, George Choongwa.
He said considering the fact that regional social economic development agenda cannot take place a midst political strife in most countries like Zambia and South Africa; it is then paramount that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) prioritise the need to address the issues of security.
Of late both countries, South Africa and Zambia have been faced with high levels of disarrayed socio economic challenges fueled with political instability.
“The danger that comes along with this kind of failed social integration process is that of lost development opportunities that waited implementation in the Southern region of Africa,” he said.
Therefore, Choongwa said as it was one of the mandates for SADC to ensure that there was peace in the region by conducting activities like election observations and international dialogues; it was paramount that it also becomes sensitive to matters of security at national levels.
“It is also important to point out that delayed response on such signals of socioeconomic breakdown in these countries would eventually create costly kickbacks on the entire region in terms of trade and commerce,” he said. Choongwa said both South Africa and Zambia have of late been powerhouses, whose contribution has been enormous to the SADC and COMESA regions respectively. “South Africa has both the political and economic advantage in the Southern Africa and the entire African continent. This is what makes it privileged with both regional and global interests. However, its foreign and political governance policies may cripple and disadvantage the entire SADC block. The decision made by the political institutions on fiscal and monetary issues has put both South Africa and SADC on the spot of lost international trade bargain due to lost foreign investor confidence,” said the regional coordinator.