South African development finance institutions (DFIs) have extensive portfolios of projects they finance, with a remit
that reaches beyond the domestic scene. Indeed, these DFIs are a product of history and have evolved to correspond
to the country’s postapartheid dispensation. In the past, South African DFIs were used to reinforce the political ideology
of apartheid and its policy of separate development. Postapartheid DFI mandates have however changed significantly.
They are not just instruments of the state’s developmental agenda at the domestic level, but those also active in the
region. We characterise this interlinkage of domestic developmentalism and regional orientation as strategic regionalism.
The major focus of this article is to survey the role of South African DFIs in the African continent while also critically
reviewing their relationship with the state’s developmental paradigm and regional strategy.