RR RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #0920/01 0731231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 141231Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8715
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2027
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1019
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1136
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 6346
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1020
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000920
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2017
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA WELCOMES U.S. REENGAGEMENT WITH SADC
REF: A. STATE 10483
B. 06 STATE 191811
C. 06 GABORONE 1631
Classified By: Chief of Mission Eric M. Bost. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: South African officials welcomed U.S.
reengagement in SADC and urged support for Executive
Secretary Salomao's five priority areas: economic
integration, infrastructure development, disaster management,
cross-cutting social sectors, and peace and security. They
cautioned against overreliance on the SADC Secretariat,
arguing that many key regional projects can be pursued with
national governments. Think tank analysts in South Africa
are generally skeptical about the SAG commitment to SADC and
the organization's long-term economic value. The Department
may wish to consider sending an official from the Department
and/or Special Representative to SADC Canavan to Pretoria to
deepen the discussions on the U.S. SADC reengagement
strategy. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) PolCounselor delivered Ref A message on U.S.
reengagement in the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) March 6 to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Chief
Director: Africa Multilateral Themba Rubushe (DAS-level) and
Acting Director for SADC Howie Short. Rubushe and Short
welcomed the U.S. interest in SADC and believed there were a
number of areas where U.S. engagement could be helpful. They
urged close cooperation with the SADC Secretariat on
prioritizing U.S. involvement.
SADC Priorities As Guide
3. (C) Short suggested that the five SADC critical priority
areas, as outlined by SADC Executive Secretary Salomao and
endorsed by the Heads of State at the 2006 Maseru Summit,
should guide U.S. engagement with SADC:
-- economic integration, including, Short stressed,
development and diversification of national economies;
-- infrastructure development, in areas like transport,
electricity, communications, water, and tourism;
-- management of "disasters," including HIV/AIDS, food
security, and natural disasters;
-- other cross-cutting sectors that "add value" to the top
three priorities, such as education, health, environment,
gender, and youth; and
-- peace and security (Short noted that this was not one of
Salomao's priority areas, but rather was added by HOSs at the
August 2006 Maseru Summit).
4. (C) Short cautioned against "overreliance" on the SADC
Secretariat. Much of the SADC agenda, as described above,
relies on individual member states, or partnerships between
states, not on the regional organization itself.
International partners need not always look to SADC to
support regional goals; there is "lots of juicy stuff to do"
through support for development projects in individual
5. (C) Rubushe and Short also urged the United States to
express support for Executive Secretary Salomao and his
vision for the region, telling him, "We see what you are
trying to do and we support it." Short said that Salomao is
often frustrated by the lack of action among SADC member
Zimbabwe a "Given"
6. (C) As SADC deepens its integration, the region must work
with Zimbabwe, Short said. It is a "pivot" country, as the
major transport routes to the north pass through the country.
Zimbabwe is not a "variable" in regional dynamics, it is a
PRETORIA 00000920 002 OF 002
COMESA Versus SADC
7. (C) PolCounselor asked about how the SAG views other
regional organizations, such as the Common Market for East
and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Customs
Union (SACU). Rubushe observed that over time, two of the
three organizations will likely die since you cannot have
overlapping customs unions. When time comes, perhaps as soon
as 2010 (the goal for instituting a SADC Customs Union),
countries will have to make a decision whether COMESA or SADC
better serves their interests. COMESA is blessed with a
strong Executive Secretary and a much larger economic market
than SADC, but has not addressed the peace and security
issues like SADC and does not have the same political weight.
The economic integration in SACU is "shallow," Rubushe said,
but works because of the practical benefit of funds being
returned to member states.
Regional Peace and Security
8. (C) PolCounselor also expressed U.S. interest in
supporting regional peace and security initiatives, but noted
that U.S. policy and legislative restrictions on Zimbabwe
limit the U.S. ability to engage in this area. Rubushe and
Short expressed an openness to discuss peace and security
cooperation in more detail with U.S. officials, although they
noted that the South African Department of Defense is the
lead agency on these issues. Short reiterated President
Mbeki's comment that southern Africa does not face any
immediate security crises, and thus can "take its time" in
developing an effective regional peacekeeping brigade and
other peace structures. He said that SADC has already done
much valuable work in areas like doctrine, logistics,
planning, and compatibility, which is not always appreciated
by international partners.
Think Tank Perspective
9. (C) Prominent think tank analysts in South Africa have
expressed skepticism about the long-term prospects for SADC
as an engine of regional integration and growth. Jakkie
Cilliers, Executive Director of the Institute for Security
Studies (ISS), questioned whether South Africa is serious
about regional integration. The SAG expresses rhetorical
support for SADC, but has been unwilling to cede any
sovereignty to SADC. Cilliers noted that the southern
African region has been the slowest to develop a strong
regional organization, perhaps because southern African
countries were last to gain their independence and thus are
reticent to cede sovereignty.
10. (C) Moeletsi Mbeki, prominent businessman, brother of
President Mbeki, and Deputy Chairperson of the South African
Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA), suggested that
the future of economic integration lies with COMESA, not
SADC. SADC integration does not offer any significant
economic benefits to South African businesses, unlike COMESA
which reaches through the major markets of Kenya, Ethiopia
and Egypt. Mbeki noted that SADC was created in reaction to
the destabilization threat from apartheid. Since South
Africa's democratic transition in 1994, the organization may
be irrelevant and anachronistic.
11. (C) Support for SADC's development and regional
integration remains one of South Africa's foreign policy
priorities. The SAG officials appreciated our approach to
them on SADC issues, and we encourage continued dialogue.
The Department may wish to consider sending an official from
the Department and/or Special Representative to SADC Canavan,
to Pretoria to deepen the discussions on the U.S. SADC
This website hosts an archive of all 251,287 US Embassy diplomatic cables that were released by WikiLeaks between November 28, 2010 and September 2, 2011.
While the cables are generally available at http://wikileaks.org/cablegate.html
, we find it hard to search or even navigate the site to read the cables.
We have made all 251,287 cables available here at Dazzlepod with the hope to make it easier for readers to browse, search, share and discuss about the released cables.
The cables are periodically selected and posted to our Twitter page
and Facebook page
for readers to review them.
For comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com