ACCEDE at the School of Government


The African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE) was established within the School of Government in September 2007. ACCEDE serves as an organisational and mobilisation space for students and researchers who are involved in activist and research based policy networks that highlight a critical examination of the factors and policy environments which support or inhibit the development of a more inclusive citizenship in Africa and in the global South.

Current research at ACCEDE examines the implications of dominant North-South and South- South policy narratives on development and workers’ rights, as they apply in South Africa.

The ACCEDE research programme builds on previous conceptual and contextual research. Linking Global-Local development debates as they relate to communities, it is case study driven. New thematic areas for 2019 deepen our exploration of the dominant global liberal economic frame in development. We focus on hegemonic narratives in development. In particular the resurgent Global South focus on the importance of export led growth and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). To boost FDI as a way of stimulating industrialization and value chains, international and national policy narratives on FDI center on spatially-bounded Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The relevance of this research is reflected in the 2019 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) SEZ Report. The report addresses global systemic crises and falling FDI levels, and at the same time reinforces the importance of SEZs in stimulating development globally. In classic liberal economic terms, the report is both mildly critical of some of the weaknesses of SEZs and their limited ability to attract FDI over the long term. Nonetheless the report’s national policy analysis shows a celebratory acceptance of marketing promotion of the three case studies this project investigates: Coega, Dube and Musina-Makhado SEZs.

New Publications

Sheree Bega14 Mar 2021 It’s midday, and the sun is blazing in Makhado, but a khaki-clad Johan Fourie is unperturbed
Sheree Bega 20 Mar 2021 Plans to uproot more than 109 000 trees at the construction site for the government’s
The flawed public participation process of the proposed mega-toxic Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) left people in the dark about
The immediate objective of this policy paper is to critically analyse the lack of sustainable development public policy thinking to
president Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address revealed a new direction in economic policy: “import substitution industrialisation”: producing goods
The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) bloc met late last year in Brasilia, just more than a
Series: Adverse International and Local Conditions for Sub-Saharan Africa (Part 5) As the world economy spirals into crisis stage, with
Series: Adverse International and Local Conditions for Sub-Saharan Africa (Part 4) In addition to China, Africa is meant to be
Series: Adverse International and Local Conditions for Sub-Saharan Africa (Part 3) The most crucial factor in whether South African SEZs