A new study has found that SA's performance in a range of aspects has deteriorated over the past decade more than any other peaceful nation. The decline is likely to continue as the country battles with the consequences of corruption and policy paralysis.
SA's performance on a number of social, economic and governance measures have deteriorated to such an extent that no other peaceful nation can compete, according to Eunomix Business and Economics.
This decline, according to News24, looks set to worsen as South Africa battles with the aftermath of President Jacob Zuma's rule.
The fragile economy may limit the success of Cyril Ramaphosa, who will be facing his first election next month:
“There is the strongest likelihood of him being a one-term president. He is starting with a very weak economy, the weakest of any president since Mandela. He is also starting with a fairly weak hand from a political standpoint.”
Security, governance, prosperity and welfare indicators show the nation sunk to 88th out of 178 nations in 2018 from 31st twelve years ago.
The decline being halted is hindered by the unsustainable structure of the economy, in which power is held by the elite. Politicians being able to make unpopular decisions needed to encourage growth has been hampered by this imbalance:
“Economic policy serves narrow interests, thus generating insufficient and unfairly allocated growth. Populism, rather than developmentalism is an easy temptation, with the economy a tug-of-war between mutually distrustful groups.”
The report says that while the president spent his first few months in power promising an end to corruption and policy uncertainty, his political weakness may hinder progress.
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Economics adopted during Thabo Mbeki's rule have been forsaken in favor of populist policies. This includes land reform, free higher education and strict BEE policies.
The nation's performance had peaked in 2007, a year before Mbeki had been ousted, entering into a downwards spiral since.
“The developmental state project has failed. South Africa is now a fragile state, expected to continue to weaken.”
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