South African Political Parties Face the World in an Election Year - 2019: Reflecting on Manifestos and their take on Foreign Policy

This year South Africa celebrates 25 years of its democratic breakthrough. It is a significant milestone as the country remains fairly stable. There are obvious social, political and economic strains that threaten the cohesiveness of the country and its ability to achieve objectives for nation-building with the view of delivering social justice for all its citizens.


This occasional paper was written in preparation of an inter-political party public dialogue entitled ‘African Political Parties Face the World in an Election Year:  A Foreign Policy Panel Discussion’,  hosted by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South African together with the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s International and Public Affairs cluster in the School of Social Sciences on the 19th March 2019,  Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel’ in Durban. Foreign policy usually falls through the cracks during the electioneering period, yet it is important to have an understanding of how political parties imagine the place of South Africa in the world. This panel discussion was an opportunity for South African youth to engage with political party officials on foreign policy issues, during a capacity-building workshop called "The Evolving Global Order: What’s at Stake for Africa?". The African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party were represented. The Economic Freedom Fighters was invited but did not have a representative.

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