Transmission Belt for Transnational Capital or Facilitator for Development? Problematising the Role of the State in the Maputo Development Corridor
Journal of Modern Africa Studies, Vol 39, No 4 (December), pp. 675-95
22 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2014
Date Written: 2001
This article problematises the role of the state in what is claimed to be the 'flagship' of the South African Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) programme, the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC). The purpose is to assess to what extent the state is best understood as a 'transmission belt' for transnational capital or as a 'facilitator' for development. The study reveals several flaws in the MDC which reinforce the role of the state as a transmission belt for transnational capital, rather than as a facilitator for development. For instance, the neo-liberal market fundamentalism and big-bang approach inherent in the MDC spells 'jobless growth'. Similarly, the notion that 'good governance is less government', implies that the state is to a large extent reduced to an 'investment promotion agency'. Having said this, the MDC does contain several novel and positive features, and its problematic aspects can be overcome through some strategic changes in the MDC approach. These may be summarized as a heavier focus on 'development', a more pro-active state, and more comprehensive and inclusive governance structures.
Keywords: Maputo corridor, Southern Africa, regionalism, South Africa, Mozambique, development, spatial development programme
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