Table of Contents
i. Executive Summary
i.ii. Special Economic Zone Legislation in South Africa
i.iii. The Greenwash of the EIA
i.iv. Tick-box Public Participation
2. Repackaging South Africa’s Development Policy Past: From Industrial Development Zones to Special Economic Zones- Understanding the difference
3. China’s Investment Aid to Africa and South Africa- infrastructural megaprojects
4. Why Special Economic Zones are key to South African Development
5. The Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone: Geostrategics and the Political Economy of the Global South
6. The MMSEZ Greenwash: the September Environmental Impact Assessment
8. Reference list
The immediate objective of this policy paper is to critically analyse the lack of sustainable development public policy thinking to South Africa’s largest development mega-project of the Covid era: the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ). Fieldwork undertaken in 2019 and 2020 has established that local municipalities and communities in Musina-Makhado have little, if any, knowledge of the SEZ.
This policy paper further explores how the MMSEZ is part of the Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) and Forum on China -Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Global South development strategy led by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to accelerate ‘inclusive’ development and to rewire trade and developmental aid globally. The MMSEZ mega-project is linked to China’s Global South development narrative, and links to China’s da Yuanzu, or “going out” as a global economic strategy to reconfigure the geographical epicentre of the world economy to China, rather than the Global North. Central to the strategy is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The policy paper focuses on infrastructure led industrialisation in the Global South through Special Economic Zones. Two main aspects are examined, namely the impact on the environment and on local communities, given that the Zones are purported …