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A critical investigation into the diplomatic relations between post-apartheid South Africa and India.

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The study made a critical investigation into the diplomatic relations between post-apartheid South Africa and India, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. The major arguments were based on the following aspects: First, Post-apartheid South Africa and India have shared good bilateral relations since 1994 and constantly aim to expand and diversify their trade and economic relations. However, it would seem the two countries have not fully exploited the potential role of the private sector and civil society in their relations, despite their vibrant private sectors and civic societies. Second, although South Africa and India have, since 1994, proclaimed themselves as partners for development, very limited critical interrogation has been made on the prospects and challenges embedded in their economic diplomatic relations regarding their bilateral and multilateral engagements. Both share membership in various organizations including BRICS, IBSA, UN, amongst others. They continue to make use of their membership in these groupings to advance national interests. Third, diplomatic relations between India and South Africa after 1994 have to consider the global shifts in political and economic power relations due to multipolarity. The study revealed that the historical relations between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Indian Congress Party (ICP) influenced the cordial diplomatic relations between the two countries in the post-apartheid South Africa. Fourth: there are contentious views on the position of Mahatma Gandhi regarding the historical racial relations between Indians and Africans in South Africa, and that he was more concerned about the freedom of South African Indians, and not black South Africans. However, there is a general acknowledgement that South African Indians contributed greatly to the socio-economic and political development of South Africa. The economic bilateral relations between the two countries have flourished since the end of apartheid, with India holding the most potential. However, they are yet to make use of available opportunities such as the involvement of private sector and civil society in their relations. The study recommends that both countries should take advantage of their complementarities and comparative advantages for mutual benefits.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.