SACU after ten years: taking stock and looking ahead
The new Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement entered into force on 15 July 2014. Where does the Organization stand ten years later? Have the original expectations come true? Does SACU practise democratic decision-making and promote transparency? Why have some of the new institutions not been established? What does the future hold for SACU and its five member states? (The member states are the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland.) Does it matter in terms of what realities and rules SACU functions?
SACU is not the typical African Regional Economic Community (REC). It exists since 1910, has its roots in the colonial policies of Britain at the time, and predates the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), launched in 1948, by several decades. It has since its inception played an important role in southern African trade and commerce. SACU has been a well-functioning customs union as far as the administration of its common external tariff (CET) and single customs territory are concerned. At the same time SACU displays some unique features resulting mainly from the dominant position of the South African economy.
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