Friday

Lesotho + South Africa Revisited

I'm going to be short-winded on this one, but I'll take advantage of the weekend to go on with the discussion beyond this post. Richard has said a word about what we'd been talking about. We'd of course been talking about the possible union of South-Africa and Lesotho. I still fail to see the venture without one or two other SADC countries tagging along. I also fail to see it, even with Lesotho and South Africa alone , on an unequal basis. That is to say I fail to see it as one country "acquiring" another. No matter how unequal the riches and the populations and the surface areas of the two countries, they're equal (before the law, for lack of a better expression) and sit on the same rung.

Now, I do clearly see where Richard and Andrew are coming from. I think that is probably how I would react if I were in their shoes.
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany on Monday assured Turkey of Germany's support to start membership negotiations with the European Union once Turkey implemented reforms and met the political criteria. Turkey hopes European leaders will, by the end of the year, set a date for the start of EU membership negotiations. It has enacted reforms to advance its chances, including abolishing the death penalty and granting greater rights to Turkey's Kurds.

But EU officials say some of the pledged reforms have yet to be implemented. "The reform process in Turkey is on a good path," Schröder said at a press conference with the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
What's wrong with that? Nothing at all. Turkey has to clean its act before it can join the EU. That happens everytime another European country wants to join, and yes, that's because the members and would-be-members are not the same. Some are bigger than others, others are richer than some, it stands to reason. What makes them the same is being faithful to a set of rules and abiding by the same laws. That's what I see for us. South Africa is more stable, richer, with a stronger economy and a low unemployment rate? Then it is Lesotho's duty to get cracking and catch up, if it wants to be an equal member in any such union. South Africa would not really be expected to foot any major bills.

(Richard) GDP: South Africa: $427.7 billion (2002 est.) Lesotho: $5.106 billion (2002 est.)
Population: South Africa:42,768,678 Lesotho: 1,861,959


Lesotho will never go up to a GDP of $427.7 billion, nor can/should it ever have a population of 42,768,678. That's not the point. The point, I think is to look at each potential union member proportionally, or percentage-wise, however you'd like to frame that, not in an absolute manner!


(Andrew) I suspect there are benefits for both sides.

I'm happy to see that I'm not alone. Among our contributions would be: One, no more demands for the return of the conquered territories ;-) Two, Snow. In Africa snow = money, if one knows how to exploit it; Three, water for irrigation and for drinking, plus the electricity it generates; Four, the Aloe polyphylla; Five, grey matter. Almost all Basotho of Lesotho who go abroad to study come back and settle in South Africa. It has been the established pattern for quite some time. You're educated, you buy a house in South Africa and you live there. That's part of why we're hurting.