Past eventPast eventResearch Event

South Africa's Foreign Policy: All Things to All States?

Chatham House, London


Oscar Van Heerden, Trustee, Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation
James Hamill, Lecturer, University of Leicester
Pumela Salela, Country Head, United Kingdom, Brand South Africa
Chair: Lesley Masters, Senior Research Associate, University of Johannesburg


South Africa’s external engagements since 1994 have been shaped by its ambition to be Africa’s champion as well as ‘one among many’ on the continent. Within sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa has sought to be a development partner, moral leader and industrial investor all at the same time. Equally it has acted as a friend and ally to developing countries, traditional donors and its BRICS partners. But this effort to be all things to all states is under increasing strain.

This event will launch Oscar Van Heerden’s latest book Consistent or Confused: The politics of Mbeki’s foreign policy 1995-2007, as well as a new research paper by the Chatham House Africa Progamme examining the drivers of the country’s commercial engagement on the continent, as speakers assess the sustainability and future of South Africa's foreign policy.