Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002176The Saga Continues...The Zimbabwe Issue in South Africa’s Foreign PolicyJo-Ansie van Wyk*Geo-political and geo-economic factors have always determined relations between South Africaand Zimbabwe. Relations between these neighbours went through all the motions of apartheid,destabilisation, liberation, decolonisation and democratisation. After the implementation ofinternational sanctions against Zimbabwe due to UDI, South Africa became Zimbabwe’s largesttrading partner. At the time of its independence Zimbabwe’s economy was largely dominated bySouth Africa. By 1981 South African investments in Zimbabwe was more than 478 millionpounds. Economic disengagement from Pretoria became one of the cornerstones of PresidentMugabe’s foreign policy. However, labour migration to South Africa became a physicalmanifestation of Zimbabwe’s continued economic dependence on its southern neighbour. Fulldiplomatic relations were resumed in April 1994 after South Africa’s first democratic elections.1Zimbabwe remains an important state to South Africa for a number of reasons - both asneighbours and members of SADC. Both states are major trading partners of one another. As alandlocked country Zimbabwe is dependent on South African harbors. Both states are membersof SADC. The political events in Zimbabwe have an impact on the South African economy.Zimbabwe imports about 20% of its power from South Africa and has not paid its bills since1999. It owns Eskom more than US$ 20m in arrears. The South African government has not
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