The Belt and Silk Road: Do These Ties Bind China and South Africa?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Hundreds of billions spent on China’s BRI targeted a corridor of regions and countries including large parts of Africa. On 2 December 2015, South Africa and China signed twenty-six agreements valued at R90 billion (39 bn), which announced the elevation of relations established in 1995 after the collapse of apartheid in South Africa. Whereas this came a year after the two countries adopted the 5-10-Year Strategic Programme, China’s BRI. It had six priorities in South Africa including accelerating South Africa’s industrialisation process, enhancing economic cooperation through special economic zones, growing maritime economic cooperation, infrastructure development, human resource capacity development, and financial cooperation. The 2025 agreement was based on the discourse that sufficient ground had been laid in 2014 to upscale the strategic Programme into a series of agreements including the Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the twenty-first Century Silk Road. This paper examines 6 years later the meaning of this joint building of the Belt and Silk Road in South Africa, how this contributes to new trends in transnational public solidarity, and how it relates to post-apartheid South African nationalism pursuing fierce independence and cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Nationalisms and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Subtitle of host publicationExploring the Transnational Public Domain
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783031085260
ISBN (Print)9783031085253
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • BRI agreements
  • China
  • Economic cooperation
  • South Africa
  • Transnational solidarities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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