The representation and participation of provinces in international relations in South Africa, case study : Western Cape Province

Du Randt, Marlise (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: With globalization the world has become a much smaller place and there has been an increase in the types of actors that take part in international relations. Even though foreign policy is normally the domain of the national government, sub-national governments have also started to make their mark in the international arena. The study of the role that sub-national governments play in the international arena, as well as how they are represented nationally has been narrowed down to South Africa and one of its nine provinces, namely the Western Cape Province. The thesis looks at how the provinces in South Africa are able to play a role internationally and what powers they are given by the Constitution. In South Africa provinces are allowed to sign Twinning agreements; although these agreements are not legally binding in terms of International Law. For this thesis I use a ‘case study’ design to focus the study, the case study for this thesis is the Western Cape Province. In terms of the research methodology for data collection, I conducted interviews with Minister Ivan Meyer who is the Minister responsible for international relation in this province. I also interviewed Mr. Roderick Thyssen who is part of the Directorate of International Relations which forms part of the Office of the Premier. Further primary data used in this study includes government documents, speeches, documentation on the agreements signed by the Western Cape Province, and the Constitution of South Africa. Secondary sources include books, journal articles and internet sources. The study uses the theory of micro-diplomacy to show the “awareness of universal interdependence.” Micro-diplomacy is not, however, a new concept but since interdependence across different levels of government has become increasingly more prevalent it has developed into an important phenomenon, requiring study. The concept implies that international relations are no longer the sole domain of national government, but that international relations and agreements are entered into on the provincial level as well, where provincial governments have taken responsibility for the “well-being of their respective territorial communities and for their own political survival in them” (Duchacek, 1984:15). The thesis found that even though the constitution of South Africa does not specifically give provinces the right to enter into international relations it also has not been clearly defined, which means there is room for interpretation. The Western Cape Province is a very active province in the international arena and market themselves in order to get more investments in the province for more funding to make it possible to deliver services more effectively. Provinces however are encountering obstacles such as, not being financially empowered, as well as lacking some important resources. Opportunities are however given in the form of support by institutions, such as the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Consultative Forum of International Relations (CFIR), Ministers and Members of the Executive Council (MinMecs) and the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), created to represent the provinces where they can express their specific needs and where they can also coordinate with the national sphere of government. There has been a realisation by the national government that they are no more the only actors internationally and they have started encouraging provinces to promote themselves.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Met globalisering het die wêreld baie kleiner geword en was daar 'n toename in die tipes akteurs wat deelneem aan internasionale betrekkinge. Alhoewel buitelandse beleid normaalweg binne die domein van die nasionale regering val, het sub-nasionale regerings ook begin deel neem in die internasionale arena. Die bestudering van sub-nasionale regerings se rol in internasionale betrekkinge, as ook hoe hulle op nasionale vlak verteenwoordig word, is vereenvoudig na die voorbeeld van Suid-Afrika en een van die land se nege provinsies, naamlik die Wes-Kaap Provinsie. Die studie kyk na hoe die provinsies in Suid-Afrika 'n rol speel op internasionale vlak en watter magte aan die provinsies gegee word deur die Grondwet. In Suid-Afrika word provinsies toegelaat om “Twinning” ooreenkomste te onderteken. Hierdie ooreenkomste is egter nie wettiglik bindend in terme van Internasionale Wetgewing nie. Vir hierdie tesis gebruik ek 'n gevalle studie om die studie te fokus. Die gevalle studie vir hierdie tesis gebruik die Wes-Kaap Provinsie as die fokus. In terme van die navorsingsmetodologie vir die insameling van data, het ek onderhoude gevoer met Minister Ivan Meyer. Minister Meyer is verantwoordelik vir die hantering van internasionale verhoudings in die provinsie. Ek het ook 'n onderhoud gevoer met Mnr. Roderick Thyssen, wat deel is van die Direktoraat van Internasionale Verhoudings wat deel uit maak van die Kantoor van die Premier. Verdere primêre data wat gebruik word vir die studie, sluit regeringsdokumente, toesprake, dokumentasie oor die ooreenkomste wat geteken is deur die Wes-Kaap Provinsie en die Grondwet van Suid- Afrika in. Sekondêre bronne sluit boeke, joernaal artikels en internet bronne in. Mikro-diplomasie teorie word gebruik om te wys dat daar 'n bewustheid is van universele interafhanklikheid. Die konsep van Mikro-diplomasie is nie nuut nie, maar aangesien die interafhanklikheid tussen die verskillende regeringsvlakke besig is om toe te neem vereis dit verdere studie. Die konsep dui daarop dat die internasionale verhoudings nie net hanteer word deur die nasionale regering nie, maar dat internasionale betrekkinge en ooreenkomste ook op provinsiale vlak geteken word deur provinsiale regerings wat verantwoordelikheid geneem het vir die welstand van hulle gemeenskappe en politieke oorlewing (Duchacek,1984:15). Die tesis het gevind dat alhoewel die Grondwet van Suid-Afrika nie spesifieke regte gee aan provinsies wat internasionale verhoudings betref nie, is dit ook nie duidelik uitgelê en gestipuleer in die Grondwet nie, wat dit oop los vir interpretasie. Die Wes-Kaap Provinsie is baie aktief in die internasionale arena en bemark die provinsie op 'n internasionale vlak met die oog om buitelandse belegging te lok na die provinsie om dienslewering te verbeter. Provinsies ondervind struikelblokke soos geen finansiële bemagtiging en die ontbreking van belangrike hulpbronne. Daar is egter bystand geleenthede wat deur instellings soos die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies, Konsulterende Forum vir Internasionale Verhoudings, Ministers en Lede van die Uitvoerende Raad en die President se Koördinerende Raad gegee word, dit is die doel van die instellings om provinsies te verteenwoordig en waar provinsies hulle behoeftes kan voorlê en skakel met die nasionale sfere van regering. Daar is 'n duidelike besef by die nasionale vlakke van regering, dat hulle nie meer alleen deel neem op die internasionale verhoog nie en dus moedig hulle provinsies aan hom hulself te bemark.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6707
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