Cabinet ministers and officials of the five-member countries of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) will meet in Namibia this week to discuss a funding mechanism for regional integration, development and industrialisation. This would include the financing of cross-border programmes such as infrastructure projects that support industrial development in the union. The discussions will form part of the review of the revenue-sharing formula that splits customs revenue between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, SA and Swaziland. SA has long regarded the formula as an unfair burden as it pays out billions of rand to its neighbours, which rely in large part on this income for their national budgets. Critics say SA is oversubsidising its neighbours to its own detriment, paying about R30bn a year more than it should because of the way the Sacu formula works. The Department of Trade and Industry’s deputy director-general for international trade and economic development, Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, s...

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