2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030

 
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
INDLULAMITHI

2030
SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS

       LOOK ABOVE THE TREES
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
2 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 3

CONTENTS
Introduction 						2

Three Scenarios for South Africa 			             6

Key Driving Forces 					9

The World in 2030 					13

Three Futures for South Africa 				              16

iSbhujwa – An Enclave Bourgeois Nation 		        18

Nayi le Walk – A Nation in Step with Itself 		   26

Gwara Gwara – A Floundering False Dawn 		        36

Indlulamithi Leadership Group 				               44

Indlulamithi Steering Committee 			              45

Researchers 							46

Core Participants and Interviewees 			           47

Sponsors and Supporters					48
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
2 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

INTRODUCTION
                                                 What would a socially cohesive South
                                                 Africa look like?
                                                 And to what degree is this attainable by
                                                 2030?

                                               Indlulamithi South Africa Scenarios     alternative futures more than
                                               2030 is a multi-stakeholder,            a decade from today. These
                                               research-driven initiative that seeks   scenarios aim to focus both leaders
                                               to re-invigorate our search, as a       from different sectors and people
                                               nation, for ways to create a society    from all walks of life on the key
                                               where all people experience a           questions of:
                                               sense of belonging and solidarity.
                                               A South Africa where all have           What would a socially cohesive
                                               opportunities to build a better         South Africa look like?
                                               life. A nation where everyone can       And to what degree is this
                                               feel they can influence those in        attainable by 2030?
                                               positions of power.
                                                                                       The project is a response to the
                                               Indlu-la-mi-thi is the Nguni name       reality that, despite great progress
                                               for giraffe. It can be directly         over the past two decades, South
                                               translated as “above the trees”.        Africa still faces major challenges.
                                               Indlulamithi South Africa Scenarios     As a nation we are struggling
                                               2030 encourages big-picture and         to deal with a confluence of
                                               far-horizons thinking on the future     inadequate economic growth,
                                               of our country.                         widespread unemployment,
                                                                                       sharp inequalities, low levels of
                                               Indlulamithi provides tools – in        fixed investment and frail levels of
                                               the form of scenarios, research,        social capital. Cumulatively, these
                                               and facilitated workshops,              have a major impact on the living
                                               downloadable presentations and          standards, safety, education and
                                               booklets – to assist us to imagine      health of our people.

                                                                                       In 2017, a group of representatives
WHY 2030?                                                                              from government, labour,
The year was chosen to coincide with the National Development Plan (NDP)
                                                                                       academia, business and other
timelines as well as those of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
                                                                                       stakeholders came together to
It also covers three national election cycles in South Africa – 2019, 2024 and
2029 – and two local government election cycles – 2021 and 2026.                       establish Indlulamithi as a quest
The dates also cover three Soccer World Cups in 2022 (Qatar), 2026 (Mexico/            for change, centred on a long-term
USA/Canada as joint hosts) and 2030 (possibly Uruguay-Argentina-Paraguay               strategic view of South Africa.
joint bid, or England), three Rugby World Cups in 2019 (Japan), 2023 (France),
2027 (possibly Argentina), and three Summer Olympic Games (Toyko 2020,
                                                                                       Indlulamithi seeks to facilitate an
Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028).
                                                                                       open conversation on visions of a
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 3

South African society that is socially   development methodology,                  middle class remaining small and
integrated and where communities         researchers from Mapungubwe               vulnerable, the deepening of
and institutions aspire to eradicate     Institute for Strategic Reflection        challenges around the education
the social and economic inequalities     (MISTRA) began interviewing               and health systems, and the
that cause exclusion and injustice.      a range of people about social            continued impact of high CO2
                                         cohesion to explore what its              emissions. Negotiations around
Indlulamithi seeks to help South         dimensions would be – and what            land, the impact of continued
Africans realise a common purpose        are the long-term prospects for           urbanisation and the expansion of
and shared vision that focuses           achieving more social cohesion in         social welfare regimes to address
on appreciation of our diversity         South Africa.                             ongoing poverty were among the
and on solidarity as a means to                                                    important variables identified.
development and progress.                The Indlulamithi project was intent
                                         on ensuring the involvement of a          Some of the research drew on the
The project is led by Professor          wide range of interviewees from           best recent ‘overview’ research or
Somadoda Fikeni and is supported         every sector of South Africa and          on scholarly research related to
by a group of diverse stakeholders       across all age groups, making sure        the National Development Plan’s
from government, labour, civil           that those young and unemployed           strategies and developmental
society and business.                    were prominent among those                pathways.
                                         interviewed.
This chosen focus – on social
cohesion – emerged somewhat
surprisingly for those hosting the          SOCIAL COHESION
initial meeting, who expected               Social cohesion refers to the levels of integration and inclusion in communities
                                            and in society at large. Often it reflects various measures of participation
the gathering of leading
                                            or non-involvement in social organisations or institutions. It is shaped by
economists, businesspeople,                 disparities in income and wealth as well as by levels of interpersonal and
NGOs, retired jurists, trade                intergroup trust. Crime rates and frequencies of violence, as well as overall
unionists and public servants               wellbeing and the general health of populations are often mirrored in measures
                                            of social cohesion. It is often encapsulated via expressions of common values
to coalesce mostly around
                                            and manifested in senses of nationhood and of shared ethics and ideals.
the questions of the future of
the economy. But many argued
that unless social cohesion in its       These interviews and months               Early childhood development
various dimensions is addressed          of intense research yielded 25            and mother-tongue instruction
– be it through reconciliation, or       variables impacting social cohesion       were identified as key areas that
addressing inequality, or crafting       (see the list of variables on page 9      need to be strengthened to
a national identity, or rural/           and 10).                                  ensure that learners succeed in
urban divides – our economic                                                       later years. Young South Africans
development strategies will              This research revealed a wide             remain vulnerable and exposed
flounder. And economic growth            range of key issues including the         to a variety of assaults, with sexual
that doesn’t promote social              potentially divisive effect of the        abuse generally and human
cohesion might also take South           4th industrial revolution on South        trafficking identified as particular
Africa down a different road.            Africa’s continued high rates of          dangers.
Following a structured scenario          unemployment, the South African
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
4 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

                                               These scenarios have tried to build   highlighted as a key concern,
                                               these dynamics into their design.     though there was speculation that
                                               Another major concern is that the     with improvement in skills from
                                               notion of the South African family    greater access to tertiary education,
                                               needs to be seriously recast. Only    and possibly from more rigorous
                                               a third of SA’s children are being    selection and training for public
                                               brought up by two partners. A third   service, we could see a steady
                                               are raised by their single mothers,   improvement in South Africa’s
                                               and a further third are orphans,      bureaucracy.
                                               most times brought up by their
                                               grandmothers.                         Corruption was deliberately
                                                                                     separated from consideration
                                               Our ‘noisy democracy’ and the         of crime, because of the former
                                               roles of the Constitution, the        thriving in the context of poor
                                               Constitutional Court, civil society   governance, diverting scarce
                                               and the media – notwithstanding the   resources into the pockets of a few.
                                               spread of fake news – are explored
                                               as foundational forces which hold     These variables – 25 in all –
                                               those in power accountable and        were then distilled into three
                                               facilitate transparency.              Key Driving Forces: Societal
                                                                                     Inequality, Resistance, Resentment
                                               The ‘incomplete democratic            and Reconciliation, (RRR) and
                                               transition’, accompanied by           Institutional and Leadership
                                               continued contestation around         Capacity. Please see page 9
                                               reconciliation, will likely see       to page 11 for an overview of
                                               intensified resentment and            these three KDFs and other
                                               resistance across race, class and     methodological issues.
                                               gender lines. At its core will be
                                               debates around reconciliation         Scenarios are not meant to be
                                               into and towards 'what'? Many         visions or predictions of the
                                               respondents rejected the notion       future. Rather the key conversation
                                               that South Africans must simply       Indlulamithi hopes to encourage
                                               reconcile themselves to societal      are around questions of whether,
                                               structures inherited from colonial    if any of these three scenarios
                                               and apartheid experiences.            come to the fore, do we have
                                                                                     the right policies and strategies
                                               At the same time, respondents         to quickly adapt and move away
                                               felt that social solidarity and       from the undesirable elements of
                                               sacrifice will become more central    a given scenario and, at the same
                                               to developing and entrenching         time, can we move skillfully to take
                                               specifically South African values.    advantage of and encourage the
                                                                                     positive elements of any of the
                                               As far as the state and politics is   scenarios?
                                               concerned, state capacity was
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 5

By 2030, greater Johannesburg will become South Africa's first 'megacity' with a population of over 10 million people.
2030LOOK ABOVE THE TREES - INDLULAMITHI - Scenarios 2030
6 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

THREE SCENARIOS FOR
SOUTH AFRICA

               What would a socially cohesive South Africa look like?
               And to what degree is this attainable by 2030?

               The methodology for Indlulamithi South Africa Scenarios 2030 included
               formative research, desktop study and extensive interviews with both
               individual experts and focus groups representative of South Africa’s
               diversity in terms of gender, age, race and class. The project conducted
               in-depth qualitative consultations with 150 ‘core participants’, through
               interviews, focus groups and online discussion platforms. A diverse range
               of participants was sought.
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 7

This primary data was                      young people were job-seekers;
                                                                                                VARIABLES
complemented by meta-analysis              including many hailing from rural
                                                                                                This is a brief summary of the
and reviews of existing research,          provinces. Many of the focus group
                                                                                                variables:
the commissioning of specific              participants were women. Focus
research papers, as well as regular        group discussions were modelled                      1.      We will struggle to absorb
briefings and workshops through            on our interview questions, but also                         low-skilled labour in the
which findings were validated and          included more creative exercises                             industrial sector but will
interrogated. This included:               in which young people ‘argued for’                           see improved absorption
                                           and visually depicted their version                          in high-skilled and service
                                           of the future.                                               sectors.
1. 60 in-depth interviews with
sectoral leaders                                                                                2.      Despite improved labour
Interviewers asked participants to         3. Online platform with a                                    protection, job losses, wage
reflect on what they perceived as          further 70 youth                                             decreases, automation and
the key threats to social cohesion         In collaboration with AudienceNet                            casualisation will deepen
between now and 2030. They                 (https://www.audiencenet.co.uk/)                             the insecurity of workers.
also asked what possibilities there        Indlulamithi hosted an online                        3.      Continuing high rates of
are for overcoming these threats           platform, convening youth from                               youth unemployment.
and what opportunities might we            across the country in an online                      4.      The South African middle
leverage and the steps it would                                                                         class will continue to be a
take to start growing levels of social                                                                  small and volatile group.
cohesion now and in the future.                                                                 5.      Overall inequality will
Interviews ranged from 30 minutes                                                                       remain high.
to 2.5 hours and were transcribed
                                                                                                6.      Non-communicable
and then thematically analysed by
                                                                                                        chronic illnesses will
the research team.                       Figure 1 Taken from Indlulamithi/Audience Net report
                                                                                                        become South Africa’s
                                           conversation about the future of
                                                                                                        leading causes of death,
                                           social cohesion. Here, youth were
2. Focus groups with job-                                                                               compounding the HIV/
                                           asked about the challenges they
seeking youth                                                                                           AIDS and TB burdens.
                                           believe were most pressing in the
Recognising                                                                                     7.      South Africa will remain a
                                             country, as well as their hopes
that the sectoral                                                                                       high emitter of CO² and
                                             and fears for the future. Some
leaders we had                                                                                          effects of climate change
                                             created and posted images to
interviewed                                                                                             will not be adequately
                                             illustrate their points.
had skewed                                                                                              addressed, further
our sample                                                                                              widening inequality.
towards an older                              4. Research conference
                                                                                                8.       Land reform will be
demographic,                                 Having gathered a significant                               negotiated through elite
we worked with                               amount of primary data, the                                 competition.
Harambee (http://                            project sorted this data into
                                                                                                9.       Urbanisation will
harambee.                                    emerging themes. It became
                                                                                                         accelerate alongside rural
co.za/) to conduct research with           clear that there were some
                                                                                                         poverty.
youth focus groups. All of these           questions arising from the research
8 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

 10. Current social welfare regimes will           that required further expert opinion. The research conference
     continue to marginally alleviate poverty.     assembled academics and practitioners from a diverse array of
 11. We will see steady improvement in early       fields to address the identified themes. These included specific
     childhood development.                        insights into intergenerational woundedness, the future impacts
                                                   of climate change, the nature of human trafficking in South Africa,
 12. We will see continued success in access
                                                   mother-tongue education and gender-based violence.
     to education, while concerns over quality
     and equity persist.
 13. Increased funding for (and access to)         The conference also comissioned papers to better understand
     tertiary education will see greater youth     shaping dynamics of South Africa’s economy, global context and
     absorption into the economy.                  location, and long-term growth prospects.

 14. Civil society will continue to hold the
     State accountable.                            During this period, Indlulamithi drew on recent reports and
 15. The number of single parents and              monographs from organisations working in related fields,
     female-headed households will increase.       including the Mandela Initiative, the Institute for Security Studies
                                                   and the Vumelana Land Scenarios.
 16. While overall crime rate will stablise,
     particular crimes will escalate with women,
     children and the poor remaining targeted      5. Distilling the variables: for the purposes of the Indlulamithi
     disproportionately.                           South Africa Scenarios 2030 exercise, ‘variables’ refer to a discrete
 17. South Africans will wrestle over the          set of hypotheses, or intuitions, about the way certain phenomena
     Constitution.                                 might unfold in the future. These ‘hunches’ are informed by
                                                   research, and while they seek to capture and understand key
 18. Without meaningful reconciliation,
                                                   trend lines, and dynamics in each field, they are not ‘predictions’
     we will see intensified resentment and
                                                   about the future of the variable. Twenty five variables were
     resistance.
                                                   identified. Each of these has a more in-depth rationale and
 19. Investigative journalists will continue to
                                                   explanation which can be accessed at http://sascenarios2030.
     hold the state to account.
                                                   co.za/research/. These variables, and the understanding of how
 20. State capacity will remain weak but it will   they each shape South Africa’s current reality and how they might
     be more inhibiting of corruption.             shape South Africa going forward constitute the ‘DNA’ on which
 21. Political leadership will be expressed        the Indlulamithi scenarios were built.
     through increased coalitions and a rising
     youth voice.
                                                   6. Ranking: having formulated the variables and interrogated
 22. We will see an increased commitment to        their likely range of outcomes and impacts, the project ranked
     long-term thinking in policymaking.           them in terms of their certainty of outcome and their level
 23. Regional trade and investment will            of likely impact. We asked: how certain can we be about the
     continue to improve, with regional            trajectory of this variable? What impact will this variable, as
     immigration as a major area of                it changes and develops, have on social cohesion? Those
     contestation.                                 variables identified as both the most uncertain but also the
 24. Social solidarity and sacrifice, albeit       most impactful were then synthesised into three Key Driving
     contested, become more central South          Forces (KDFs), ie conceptual areas most likely to shape social
     African values.                               cohesion in South Africa going forward. These KDFs serve as
                                                   the 'scaffolding' for the scenario storylines. These are the three
 25. South Africans will on balance benefit
                                                   amalgamated KDFs: Social Inequality; Resistance, Resentment
     from southern African growth and BRICS
                                                   and Reconciliation; Institutional and Leadership Capacity.
     membership.
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 9

KEY DRIVING FORCES
  Those variables identified as both the most uncertain but also the most impactful were synthesised
  into three Key Driving Forces (KDFs). These are conceptual areas most likely to shape social cohesion
  in South Africa going forward. These KDFs serve as the scaffolding for the scenario storylines.

                                                            of the wealth: the biggest long-                             grandparents. There are important
KDF 1                                                       term driver of inequality. Precisely                         questions to be asked about
Social Inequality                                           because of this lack of assets,                              the social disconnectedness of
Indlulamithi participants shared                            the position of the South African                            working-age men, many of whom
how they understood and                                     middle class is deeply volatile.                             are unemployed and do not benefit
experienced inequality in South                                                                                          from social grants.
Africa, which was described in
                                                            Racial inequality remains
both material and immaterial
                                                            stark with white South Africans                              Spatial inequality informs
terms. There are stark inequalities
                                                            experiencing better quality of life                          access to jobs, public space, public
in income, access and assets:
                                                            on all major indices.2 Meanwhile,                            services and social capital. As the
the distributions of each are
                                                            intra-race inequality is also                                country becomes increasingly
heavily informed by race, gender,
                                                            increasing.
generation and spatial location.
While rooted in a long history of
colonialism and apartheid, these                            Women are more likely to be poor
inequalities are also propelled                             than men, and also most affected
by more contemporary forces,                                in times of crisis such as climate
including climate change and                                change, emerging epidemics
new technologies. As a Key Driver,                          and by violent crime. In 2015,
the focus on Social Inequality is                           one in five South African women
intended to capture this complex                            experienced intimate partner
web of social, historical and                               violence.3 Reported rape averages
economic features which have,                               at 109 per day,4 with a conviction
and are likely to have, profound                            rate as low as 8.4% in 2012.5 Like
effects on the future of social                             women, LGBTQI+ communities are
cohesion in South Africa. Three                             more likely to be vulnerable and
key considerations informed this                            marginalised.
driver:

                                                            According to Stats SA, 41% of                                urbanised, inequality is further
Asset-based wealth: the top 10%                             households are currently                                     entrenched: people live far from
of income earners received 60-65%                           female-headed. This number                                   economic centres with high
of total income in South Africa.1                           is steadily increasing and a great                           transport costs. Inequality between
10% of South Africans hold 90–95%                           many households are headed by                                rural and urban, as well as between
1 Anna Orthofer (2016) South Africa needs to fix its dangerously wide wealth gap’. https://theconversation.com/south-africa-needs-to-fix-its-dangerously-wide-wealth-gap-66355
2 Institute for Race Relations (2017) Quality of Life Index.
3 South African Demographic and Health Survey 2016
4 SAPS Crime Stats 2016/2017
5 Mercilene Machisa et al (2017). Rape Justice In South Africa: A Retrospective Study Of The Investigation, Prosecution And Adjudication Of Reported Rape Cases From 2012.
  Pretoria, South Africa. Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council.
10 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

different provinces, is deepening.               to inadequate early childhood            there is marked difference in the
Large portions of the country’s rural            nutrition. This has stark implications   likelihood of employment.
and urban dwellers have insecure                 for longer term physical and
tenure and volatile land rights,                 cognitive development. Stunted
                                                                                          University graduates are most likely
while land and property ownership                children generally perform
                                                                                          to find jobs, but in 2018, rates of
remains vastly unequal. Meanwhile,               more poorly at school and are at
                                                                                          unemployment among graduates
the wealthier are increasingly likely            greater risk of non-communicable
                                                                                          are also rising. Indlulamithi
to privatise their lives, seeking                diseases.7
                                                                                          participants showed acute
private health, education, energy
                                                                                          awareness about how inequality
supply, security, transport and
                                                 While access to basic education          will affect future work, education
entertainment and even obtaining
                                                 is now almost 100%, inequalities in      and labour market environments.
or renewing passports and licences
                                           the quality of education provided
online. The aspiration to ‘opt out’ of
                                           are stark, determined by income,
public institutions, where queues                                                         Whichever economic growth path
                                           spatial geography and race. In
are long and services unreliable,                                                         SA finds itself on over the next 12
                                           South Africa of 2018, only around
is leaving less and less room for                                                         years, the stubborn persistence
                                                    half of all pupils who start
public participation and                                                                  of inequality will need to be taken
                                                          Grade 1 complete
communion.                                                                                into account. Economic growth
                                                             matric. Of all pupils
                                       Economic                                           strategies will need to be both
                                        growth                  starting Grade 1,
                                                                                          transformative, addressing the root
Intergenerational                   strategies will              only about
                                                                                          causes of inequality, and inclusive
poverty perpetuates               need to be both                6% eventually
                                                                                          so that more and more South
long-term structural               transformative,               receive
                                   addressing    the                                      Africans can benefit from such
inequality: if parents                                           university
                                    root causes of                                        growth.
are among the poorest                                           degrees,
                                      inequality.
quintiles, their children                                    although
have a 90% chance of                                      many others do                  Finally, social (dis)
being ‘stuck’ in poverty, ie                        achieve some post-                    connectedness was
remaining in that quintile of wealth       school qualification and skill                 acknowledged as a significant site
all of their lives. Sixty percent of       enhancement.                                   of inequality in South Africa. Job-
children in South Africa live in                                                          seeking youth felt that their biggest
households below the upper-                                                               barrier to entry was not knowing
                                                 More than half of South Africa’s
bound poverty line.6                                                                      the right people. Being networked
                                                 young people are unemployed
                                                                                          is essential for getting a foot in the
                                                 – the highest level of youth
                                                                                          door — with a potential employer,
Inequality impacts and is reinforced             unemployment globally – and
                                                                                          landlord, investor, NGO-provider
at a very young age. Poor early                  having a matric does not radically
                                                                                          or public servant. Participants
childhood development is a key                   alter their chances of accessing
                                                                                          recognised both the injustice of
determinant of intergenerational                 work.
                                                                                          patrimonial or nepotistic networks,
poverty. In contemporary
                                                                                          and the value of social groupings
South Africa, 27% of children in
                                                 If a matric certificate is leveraged     like stokvels, churches and similar
South Africa are ‘stunted’ due
                                                 towards a tertiary qualification,        institutions.
6 See Mandela Initiative Synthesis Report 2018
7 See Mandela Initiative Synthesis Report 2018
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 11

KDF 2
Resistance,
Resentment and
Reconciliation (RRR)

Resistance, Resentment and
Reconciliation (RRR), while
underlying a number of
phenomena, is to be seen as a
                                        During 2017/2018 many people in Cape Town had to queue to get water from natural springs.
driving force in itself, manifested
in various dimensions such as
                                        This speaks about the progress                    the transition from apartheid to
identity, values and the public
                                        of reconciliatory journey in South                democracy. Every 'race' group
discourse. Rooted in struggles
                                        Africa and how some young                         appeared to have a case to make
over the Constitution, gender
                                        people are beginning to question                  about why post-democratic South
relations, and attitudes to different
                                        the journey from apartheid to                     Africa does not ‘belong’ to them,
races are increasingly playing out
                                        maturing democracy. Respondents’                  and about the mechanisms of
in elevated demonstrations of
                                        feelings of reconciliation were                   exclusion that make them feel
populism, violence and abuse. We
                                        dependent on certain outcomes                     unheard. This was often coupled
see differences in the reading of
                                        such as racial justice and genuine                with narratives of resentment
history, not just between whites and
                                        social and economic redress. A                    against those who were perceived
blacks, but also in the ways in which
                                        large number of respondents                       to have benefitted unfairly. As one
the struggle against apartheid, the
                                        believed that the government had                  participant put it, the country is
constitutional settlements and the
TRC process is understood.
                                              SILENT 'NON-AGREEMENTS'
This KDF includes the mobilisation            As one participant put it, the country is replete with ‘silent non-agreements’:
                                              there are underlying conflicts we do not speak of, so as not to upset the
around a sense of woundedness
                                              transition. Indeed, as the compromise and fragility of the transition become
and resentment, as well as around             more apparent, so too does the likelihood of its disruption
ethnicity and culture. It includes
fraught struggles for recognition,
whether from Afrikaans language         not done enough to address the                    replete with ‘silent non-agreements’
activists, black lesbians, Khoisan      challenge of what was described as                i.e. there are underlying conflicts
communities or would-be                 "intergenerational" trauma.                       we do not speak of, so as not to
secessionists, as well as contests                                                        'upset' the transition. Indeed, as
over affirmative action and how                                                           the compromise and fragility of the
                                        We cannot agree on our past.
‘transformation’ is legislated.                                                           transition become more apparent,
                                        There was widespread feeling
The key questions and concerns                                                            so too does the likelihood of its
                                        among our participants that South
explored with participants include                                                        disruption.
                                        Africans do not have enough of
'the effects of an anti-black, unjust
                                        a shared understanding of our
world' that have been inherited in
                                        history, nor do they agree on who                 There are already moments of
the new South African society.
                                        has (or has not) benefitted from                  rupture in which questions of
12 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

Resistance, Resentment and
Reconciliation are taking centre
stage: mobilisations around
decoloniality, mother-tongue
education, farm murders, land,
institutional racism and so on. Even
within these movements, there are
often deep fissures along gender
and generational lines.

                                                A jobless protestor holds a placard during a march in the Ramaphosa squatter settlement, east of
Meanwhile, we have begun to                     Johannesburg.

wrestle with our Constitution
                                                to realise it. The ability to take a                accountable as well as assist in the
and its ability to deliver justice,
                                                long-term view in decision-making,                  process of reconciliation.
with emerging flashpoints around
                                                and the kind of ethics and values
land, traditional leadership, sexual
                                                espoused and practised will be
orientation, sex work, language                                                                     The state’s capacity would make
                                                critical. In this context working
and access to information. Some                                                                     a critical contribution to social
                                                towards a common vision, national
argued that these are the seeds of                                                                  cohesion as manifested in its ability
                                                unity and fostering a civic spirit in
a more meaningful reconciliation in                                                                 to provide economic direction,
                                                line with our Constitution will be
the longer term while others were                                                                   embark on long-term planning and
                                                key manifestations of this KDF.
less optimistic.                                                                                    ensure effective social delivery.
                                                                                                    Such includes the expansion
                                                State capacity has been                             of the social security system,
KDF 3                                           systemically undermined by                          improvements to the education,
Institutional and
                                                corruption and poor skills at                       health and criminal justice systems,
Leadership Capacity
                                                critical levels. Many Indlulamithi                  and the future of governance in
In the wake of the moral, ethical
                                                participants worried about the                      state institutions.
and human resource capability
                                                weaknesses in our public service.
erosion experienced in the recent
past, Indlulamithi participants                                                                     This capacity will also help South
identified Institutional and                    The looting of state-owned                          Africa in determining its position in
Leadership Capacity (state, private             enterprises was also of particular                  the arena of global relations.
sector and civil society institutions)          concern. World Bank Development
as a key determinant for the future             Indicators in 2017 suggested
                                                                                                    The project also considered
of social cohesion. Leadership as               that South Africa’s state capacity
                                                                                                    questions of what does it mean
expressed in all spheres of South               was declining at an accelerated
                                                                                                    to have a people-centred state,
African society will shape the                  rate. Meanwhile, the country
                                                                                                    economy and society broadly?
possibilities of social cohesion by             has also been shaken by private
                                                                                                    What would a more peaceful, and
2030. This KDF manifests itself in              sector theft and fraud. It will be
                                                                                                    more caring South Africa look like,
the strategic capacity of South                 important for the media and civil
                                                                                                    and to what extent can there be a
Africa’s leadership to appreciate               society to improve their capacity
                                                                                                    common vision for the future of our
the collective interest and work                to hold the state and private sector
                                                                                                    country?
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 13

THE WORLD IN 2030
South Africa’s future will play out in global and continental contexts which will shape
and colour, constrain or expand our local choices. Of particular importance will be:

   Increasing levels of income and wealth                   A rise in authoritarian populist movements
   inequality, both between nations and within              in many democracies around the world, partly
   countries, including all the BRICS countries.            because both liberal and left-wing programmes
                                                            have struggled to articulate coherent visions and
                                                            win people over to their programmes.
   Environmental changes, including increasingly
   severe shifts in global climate patterns, long-
   term temperature increases and environmental             Globalisation, and especially offshoring of
   degradation. Climate change impacts on Africa –          work and digital disruption/4th industrial
   mostly causing drier and hotter conditions – need to     revolution processes, have put pressure on jobs
   be monitored carefully.                                  and diminished trade unions’ power to shape
                                                            political debates in many parts of the world.

   The shift away from fossil fuels and the ‘carbon
   economy’ and growing pressure for all countries to       The processes of globalisation and digital
   conform to lower carbon emissions standards.             disruption have created spaces for those
                                                            mobilising around identities (ethnic or
                                                            national), or around ‘national security’. This is
   The continuing exponential advance of
                                                            often driven by a ‘celebrification’ of society
   computer processing power leading to rapid
                                                            (exacerbated by rapid uptake of social media
   changes in machine learning/artificial intelligence.
                                                            since 2007). It is impacting on democratic
   The intersection of this processing power with
                                                            processes and sometimes even on election
   gigantean data sets derived from networked
                                                            results.
   systems and meta-surveillance is changing
   consumer culture, government/citizen interfaces,
   the media industry, education, transport networks,       Rising consumer debt levels – and the
   and how people meet and form relationships. This         possibility of severe economic ‘shocks’ such
   ‘4th industrial revolution’ and the creation of cyber-   as another global stock market crash – might
   physical systems hold great potential – and much         undercut the projections for steady global
   peril – for developing countries such as South           economic growth in the medium term.
   Africa.

                                                            Demographic growth – and stability of
   Geo-political shifts to a more multipolar world          democracies – across the African continent
   as China’s economy – and military prowess –              but particularly in South Africa’s neighbouring
   continues to grow. China will surpass the USA as         countries, will impact on South Africa for many
   the world’s biggest economy in late 2020s.               years to come.
14 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

                                                • MOBILE CONNECTIVITY: South             and maintain relationships, connect
   We also need                                 Africa has only just reached the ‘half   with others – and find meaning in

   to be mindful                                way mark’ in 2018 in terms of the
                                                proportion of the population that is
                                                                                         our lives?

   of these ‘cross                              online. Even as we move past this
                                                                                         • JOURNALISM AND THE
   cutting’ global                              50% connectivity milestone – which
                                                is mostly via mobile phone-enabled
                                                                                         PUBLIC SPHERE: How will digital

   factors.
                                                                                         online technology impact on the
                                                connectivity – most users cannot yet
                                                                                         availability of news, the media
                                                afford to be online regularly because
                                                                                         industries and their ability to
                                                of the high costs of data in South
                                                                                         facilitate public discussions in the
                                                Africa and the lack of sufficient free
                                                                                         online public sphere, as printed
                                                or cheap wi-fi connectivity. How
                                                                                         newspapers become rarer and
                                                might we change this?
                                                                                         entire news eco-systems migrate
                                                                                         online? How might the economics
                                                • DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY: In                of media and the production of
                                                a continent which averages only          journalism change?
                                                30% total online connectivity
                                                (although more than 80% of Africa’s
                                                                                         • GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH:
                                                population had cell phone access
                                                                                         In terms of global economic
                                                in 2018), how will we navigate the
                                                                                         opportunities and headwinds, it
                                                various opportunities that a digital,
                                                                                         is likely that slowing productivity
                                                online world offers? How might
                                                                                         growth – partly caused by aging
                                                we quickly increase the number of
                                                                                         populations in the developed world
                                                people online in a meaningful way?
                                                                                         – and slower global economic
                                                And how might we make, receive
                                                                                         growth will impact on the growth
                                                and react to the other components
                                                                                         potential of African countries. This
                                                of the 4th industrial revolution?
                                                                                         might be offset by productivity-
                                                What will be the effects of rapid
                                                                                         enhancing technology that allows
                                                prototyping and 3D on-demand
                                                                                         billions of connected people to
                                                fabrication, rapid advances in nano-
                                                                                         work, shop, and connect with others
                                                and biotechnology, personalised
                                                                                         online, and to ‘stream’ information
                                                medicine, and the imminent
                                                                                         and entertainment at low cost. Are
                                                automation of many ‘routine task’
                                                                                         we ready for the opportunities and
                                                jobs?
                                                                                         risks that these shifts in the global
                                                                                         economy offer with particular regard
                                                • LIVING MORE ONLINE LIVES:              to likely changing terms of trade
                                                Assuming greater and cheaper             and probable increased demand
                                                access to online technology, how         for commodities anticipated for the
                                                might this change the way we form        2020s?
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 15

• THE ROAD TO NINE BILLION: Global population                  second or third (or even fourth) largest economy by
will increase by more than one billion people over             2030. By then, South Africa is likely to be lagging
the next 12 years (to reach about 8.6 billion in 2030).        about US$100 billion behind Nigeria in terms of GDP
Because of Africa’s high population growth rates, 1,7          per annum, and may also be eclipsed by Ethiopia
billion of the world’s population – or 20% – will be           and Egypt with their rapid current growth rates and
African in 2030. About 68 million of those, or 4% of the       vast potential demographic dividend. How might we
continental total, will be South African.                      benefit or be affected by faster economic growth of
                                                               our continental neighbours? Are we ready to expand
                                                               trade northwards and focus more on assisting Africa
• THE CENTURY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD: By 2030
                                                               overcome its huge infrastructure backlogs as we
one-third of all the children in the world will be
                                                               overcome our own?
African children. The median age in developed
countries in 2018 is 40: in Africa, it is 19.7 years of age.
Will our continent give these children the opportunities       • GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: We also need to be
they deserve? Some of these young Africans will want           mindful of the many ways South Africa’s economy
to access South Africa’s education systems. Others will        connects to global financial flows and larger global
look south for jobs and homes. Will we welcome them?           trade and finance ecosystems. How might our
                                                               exchange rate fluctuate over the next 12 years? What
                                                               might the Rand be worth in 2030 against key global
• LAND HUNGER – AND THIRSTY LANDS: Growing
                                                               and continental currencies? How might this impact on
populations, scarcity of water, and a slow rise in
                                                               our overall balance of trade?
average daily temperatures, especially in central and
southern Africa, may mean less available arable land.
These environmental changes – and many other factors           • INVESTMENT GRADINGS: What will South Africa’s
– are already propelling people into cities. Currently         investment ‘grading’ be in the 2020s and in 2030 – and
just 40% of the continent’s population is in urban areas.      how might this affect how much foreign investment we
But by 2030, almost half of Africa will be urbanised.          attract, directly or indirectly, over the next 12 years?

• SLUMS AND MEGACITIES: Lagos and Kinshasa will                • INTEREST AND DEBT: What will our debt levels be
both be ‘megacities’ of more than 20 million people by         over the next 12 years, as proportion of our GDP? How
2030, and Luanda, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg               much of our annual budget will have to be directed
will all be cities of more than 10 million – in just over a    to repay debt? How will this influence our domestic
decade’s time. Kibera, outside Nairobi, is the largest         interest rates and the abilities of South Africans to
urban slum in Africa with a population of about one            access capital and borrow money? How indebted will
million. More super-sized informal urban areas are             individual South Africans be compared to 2018's high
emerging, linked to or near mega-cities. Are we ready          levels of personal debt and low levels of household
for the impacts of this on our environments, political         saving?
systems and social lives?

                                                               • ARE WE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER? How cohesive is
• CONTINENTAL TRADE: South Africa, currently                   South Africa? How much of a nation are we really? And
the largest economy in Africa, could become Africa’s           how might this change over the next decade?
16 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

THREE FUTURES FOR
SOUTH AFRICA
                                      Ultimately, there is only one future, once you look back
                                      at it. But looking forward, there are ranges of possibilities
                                      between sets of probabilities and unexpected shocks and
                                      surprises. These are three such sets of possibilities, three
                                      stories of how South Africa’s future, as a cohesive and
                                      coherent nation, might unfold.

                                                  iSbhujwa
                                                    AN ENCLAVE BOURGEOIS NATION
                                                    Epitomising a loose-limbed, jumpy nation with a frenetic edge,
                                                    iSbhujwa is a South Africa torn by deepening social divides, daily
                                                    protests and cynical self-interest.
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 17

Nayi le Walk
A NATION IN STEP WITH ITSELF
In a precise sequence of steps, this scenario choreographs a vision of a
South Africa where growing social cohesion, economic expansion, and
a renewed spirit of constitutionalism get South Africa going.

           Gwara Gwara
             A FLOUNDERING FALSE DAWN
             In a nation torn between immobility and restless energy, Gwara
             Gwara embodies a demoralised land of disorder and decay.
18 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

                     iSbhujwa
                     AN ENCLAVE BOURGEOIS NATION

                        Epitomising a loose-limbed, jumpy nation
                        with a frenetic edge, iSbhujwa is a South
                        Africa torn by deepening social divides,
                        daily protests and cynical self-interest.
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 19

W       hat happened, people
        wonder, to the egalitarian
spirit of Ubuntu upon which we
                                        luxury, comfort, and a high degree
                                        of autonomy. They have private
                                        schools, private security, private
                                                                                  constitutionalism and freedom of
                                                                                  association and speech.

built our constitutional democracy      golf courses, private health facilities   The more cynical suggest that
in the early 1990s?                     (with their own private ambulances),      these demonstrations could be
                                        private justice mechanisms and            rebranded as tourist attractions – if
For many, a deep sense of historical    private borehole water. Many of the       only they could be more predictably
injustice and resentment at their       more upmarket homes operate ‘off          scheduled.
exclusion blows up into frequent        the grid’, running solar-powered          But at root, by 2030, all the divisions
public protests, which become           battery packs and water-from-air          witnessed in South Africa in 2018
even more of an everyday feature        distilling machines.                      have widened.
of South African life. In 2028 alone,
South Africa experiences almost         The widespread protests are               Our way – or the privatised
3 000 serious protests. Initially       not always economic at root: for          highway
peaceful strikes and ‘service           many there is anger about the             In the early 2020s after several
delivery’ protests often become         ‘incomplete transition’, including        high-profile corruption trials,
mini-uprisings: blockades of            the persistent power of white             and despite some spectacular
highways, barricading of streets,       privilege and male dominance.             corporate bankruptcies, the private
torching of trucks, firebombing of      This provokes increasingly intense        sector decides to reposition itself
councillors’ homes and destruction      and often bitter conflicts. But the       as the moral guardian of society.
of state property become routine in     wealthy grow cold-hearted in their        Linking up with some less overtly
Isbhujwa South Africa.                  isolation, immune to the pain of          political unions, charismatic church
                                        those unable to access the lifestyle      movements and supported by
For ordinary people, these seven        of suburbia.                              elements within the ‘mainstream’
or eight urban revolts per day are                                                media, these wealthier South
the most effective way in getting       Just after the weather, stay              Africans shore up support for a
attention from the authorities,         tuned for your daily protest              range of private sector-centred
before the state and its security       report                                    solutions to society’s key problems.
apparatus are called to focus           These protests are often completely
their attention elsewhere. There        ignored by better-off South               Already by 2022 these forces are
is always a bigger fire, with more      Africans. Some in the middle class,       able to pressure government to
smoke. In 2022/3 and again in           feeling insecure and separated            drop much of its plan to extend
2027/8, campuses are sites of fierce    from both the really wealthy and          universal health care via the
struggle, resulting in millions of      those in the poorer classes that they     NHI and instead get agreement
Rand worth of damage to property        have ‘left behind’, ignite protests       to create more public-private
and disrupting academic cycles and      of their own in the name of their         partnerships to run the larger
many students’ exams.                   narrow causes. There are regular          clinics and hospitals. They convince
                                        ‘protest reports’ on radio stations       government to allow more private
Everywhere, citizens retreat into       after the news, weather and traffic       universities. Most of these are
their own enclaves of privilege or      reports. Some regard burgeoning           immediately successful despite their
poverty. For the wealthy elite, their   protests as a positive affirmation        high fees and zero-protest policy.
islands of voluntary isolation offer    of South Africa’s commitment to           This ‘market-led’ approach
20 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

resonates with global investors –               disregarded by urban elites, and         as street crèches, transform into
and often yields tangible results,              often still facing daily racism, rural   informal schools. Inexpensive
at least for about 25% of the                   populations also rise up and cry out.    compared to private schools, and
population.                                     Farms and crops are burned.              often staffed by ex-state school
                                                                                         teachers, some of these schools
The poor by contrast feel stuck                 Even wealthy new black farmers,          begin to outperform government
in their poverty, stripped of hope              beneficiaries of the rapid               primary schools, especially in maths
and meaningful aspiration. Poverty              allocation of 4 000 state-owned          and science.
and ill-health continue to exact a              farms between 2019 and 2022,
terrible toll on families. For various          find themselves targeted by irate        Self-sufficiency increases, firstly as
reasons, including the falling                  workers and landless peasants.           a survival mechanism, and then as
popularity of marriage, the number              When a famous Stellenbosch wine          part of the impetus for small-scale
of single parent families increases.            estate and 14 schools are reduced        entrepreneurship. People realise
Many unemployed men cannot                      to ashes just before the 2029            that despite political party promises,
make peace with their inability to              election, global headlines scramble      jobs are not coming, at least not for
provide materially for their children           to describe ‘a burning rainbow’,         most of the long-term unemployed.
and absentee-father rates rise.                 or ‘a nation in flames’ and myriad       Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit
                                                                                         of many African migrants in South
                                                                                         Africa’s towns and cities (even if the
Self-sufficiency increases, firstly as a survival mechanism, and then as part of the     different communities still don’t
impetus for small-scale entrepreneurship. People realise that despite political          always get along), people create
party promises, jobs are not coming, at least not for most of the long-term
                                                                                         small businesses in their own areas.
unemployed. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of many African migrants
in South Africa’s towns and cities (even if the different communities still don’t
always get along), people create small businesses in their own areas.                    Savvy youngsters start to hustle
                                                                                         more. Some provide for people’s
                                                                                         day-to-day health needs in
The Free State’s official rate of               other fire-drenched clichés, but in      innovative ways. High levels of
unemployment tops 40% in 2026,                  truth, everyone increasingly has ‘no     social trauma, whether from
and for those in other poor areas,              words' to describe the situation.        the loss of a relative, witnessing
like the Northern Cape, more than                                                        violence or long legacies of
a third of jobs seekers are unable to           The poor maak ’n plan                    apartheid violence, also mean
find a job – even once – throughout             And yet, even as anger and               that many people struggle with
the 2020s. The numbers of social                acrimony grow, another famous            anxiety and depression. This makes
grants applied for and approved                 South African mark of resilience         them more vulnerable to chronic
increase.                                       comes to the fore, slightly adapted:     illness. As families must manage
                                                ‘the poor maak ‘n plan’. Poorer          many illnesses and many different
Longing for land                                South Africans become even more          medications, there is a market for
Rural protests grow less patient                adept and adaptable as ‘do-it-           the services of pop-up licensed
with traditional and customary                  yourselfers’, splicing electricity       ‘all-in-a-cart’ pharmacies and
leadership that is often autocratic             cables and looping power across          entrepreneurs arranging home
and demeaning. Feeling stuck at                 long distances. Communal early           delivery of prescription chronic
the back-end of every queue and                 child-care arrangements, such            medications. These help reduce
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 21

queuing times at clinics.                Government encourages smaller            Mining production continues its
The older unemployed provide             business through more targeted           mild recovery from the historic
repair services, and many                initiatives. Start-ups are supported     lows of 2016. A measure of policy
unemployed people of all ages get        by local development agencies and        certainty from a hard-fought Mining
some work in piecemeal cleaning          private sector incubators begin to       Charter sees more local and
and transport services, connected        function more effectively than in        international investment. Although
to customers by apps and instant         the 2010s. There is a focus on social    mechanisation and modernisation
messaging as the effect of the           innovation and many mentoring            extend the working lives of many
4th industrial revolution widens.        initiatives from the private sector      mines, the number of direct jobs
Collective savings via stokvels and      start to pay off. This allows many       created by the mining industry
women’s clubs provide at least some      smaller companies to create jobs         decreases to 350 000 by the mid-
people with access to capital.           on a larger scale. More of a start-      2020s.
                                         up disposition takes root as the
There is a new ‘can-do’ spirit and       informal sector grows faster and         Manganese, iron and chromium
even a precociousness that is            connects better with                     continue to do well as Asian
unleashed, an awakening of national      the needs of the                               economies require more and
pride and a widespread shedding          formal economy.              Drawing   on          more steel and, while gold
of any sense of inferiority or second-   This creates,
                                                                  the  savings made           mining output stabilises
                                                              by bringing in a private
classness. Out of the schools and        over time,                                             in the early 2020s, the
                                                             sector partner for South
universities come more assertive         more than            African Airways (SAA),             nation gets a collective
generations avowing an African           a million             and from other partial            chill down its spine
identify and embracing a pan-            new jobs in         privatisations, provinces           when the total number
African solidarity. Although more        the informal        are  encouraged    to create       of gold mining jobs
of a middle-class experience, it is      sector.                manufacturing hubs             drops below 100 000 for
                                                                 and special export
embraced by younger and poorer                                                               the first time in 2022. This,
                                                                         zones.
South Africans in urban areas who        Slow-growth                                      as so many lament, is less
find each other more and more on         – with or without                           than a quarter of those employed
the sport fields, in city night clubs    charters                                 in  gold mining when South Africa’s
and in Uber ride-sharing schemes.        By comparison, the formal economy        democracy dawned in 1994.
The enclaves of wealth become            grows more slowly. Large-scale
more non-racial in perspective and       agriculture, after some expansion         Let there be light
disposition – even as their walls rise   in 2019-2021, is beset with               manufacturing
higher and their isolation from the      uncertainty about land. Smaller-          Trying to boost other sectors, the
impoverished majority increases.         scale farmers make some progress          government creates a range of
                                         with substantial government aid           incentives to encourage various
Revving up start-ups                     in high potential areas, but larger       kinds of light manufacturing.
Overall, the large established           scale agribusiness does not expand        Drawing on the savings made by
businesses invest only as much           much in the 2020s. (Other African         bringing in a private sector partner
as would allow them to make              countries by contrast see huge            for South African Airways (SAA) –
substantial profits in more              investments in their agricultural         and from other partial privatisations,
monopolised sectors.                     sector.)                                  provinces are encouraged to create
                                                                                   manufacturing hubs and special
22 / INDLULAMITHI SOUTH AFRICA SCENARIOS 2030

export zones. These localised                   (including the so-called JAMS who         people just don’t see the value of
enterprise development areas                    are ‘Just About Managing’ and             ‘encounters’ that churches, temples,
provide better local linkages and               usually only a pay cheque or two          mosques and shuls try to organise,
clustering effects, but finding                 away from poverty), these roughly         despite government funding for
profitable niches proves difficult.             six to eight million wealthier South      processes designed to build a new
                                                Africans become increasingly              spirit of reconciliation and redress.
Despair of the NINJAS                           non-racial in their worldviews.           The cry is for jobs and resources, and
Business process outsourcing and                They are social media-savvy and           a more level economic playing field.
international call-centre operations            uber-connected, becoming more
also grow significantly – until these           ‘bourgeois’ in their sensibilities and    There was never a ‘new TRC’, as
jobs begin to be replaced in the                staying in touch with global fashion,     some clamoured for. People did not
mid-2020s by automated AI ‘chat                 food and tech trends.                     seem to want to deal with too many
bots’ that eliminate jobs that are                                                        new truths – or any truths at all.
made up of routine and repetitive               No truth or
tasks.                                          reconciliation                         But at least a spirit of
                                                                         There is no
                                                Partly because                           constitutionality survives despite
                                                                        ‘new TRC’ as
Ultimately though, it is only the               of sluggish         people don’t seem regular acts of ‘insurrectionary
services sector that creates much               economic           to want to deal with citizenship’ in the 2020s. It is
                                                                       too many new       not unusual for communities to
by way of new jobs. By 2030, South              growth, and
                                                                       truths – or any
Africa has more security guards per             persistently                             barricade   highways and stone
                                                                        truths at all.
capita than any other nation. And               high levels of                          police one day, and engage senior
by 2030, while the unemployment                 inequality, South                      council and seek urgent interdicts in
rate (20% on the narrow definition)             Africans find it hard to meet          courts the next day. Courts remain
is lower than at the start of the               across the borders of culture          independent and are often the first
decade, it is still far too high for any        and wealth. Younger generations        resort of those contesting power
country that aspires to build social            confront unearned privilege more       inside and outside political parties.
cohesion. Particularly one where the            aggressively and there is some
median age of the population is still           progress on reconfiguring gender          The SANDF and the police also
well under 30 years.                            roles and supporting families as          remain firmly under civil control
                                                core units of social cohesion. Levels     and direction, and the armed forces
Between the 2019 election and                   of gender violence decline in             provide a measure of stability as
2030, South Africa has averaged                 some wealthier enclaves as active         governing coalitions come and go.
just 2.2% growth, barely keeping                programmes seek to engage men
the economy in line with population             to change as the global ‘me too’          Shifting sands
growth. Many NINJAs – those with                movement impacts on South Africa’s        A divided union movement, unable
No Income, No Jobs and Assets –                 multiple patriarchies, pushed by          to grow its numbers significantly
slip into deeper despair, as they see           new women’s formations.                   in the face of new forms of
yet another generation unable to                                                          casualisation and the technology-
climb out of poverty.                           Government and many                       based atomisation of work, tries
                                                private projects seek to foster           to push back and create pressure
Joined by a growing ‘middle class’              'reconciliation', but this turns out to   for a more effective state rollout of
of various levels of financial security         be mostly hot air. In the poorer areas,   resources and a better distribution
THREE SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN 2030 / 23

of wealth. Having played an
important role in curbing and
exposing corporate excesses and
corruption in the state in the 2010s,
many in the union movement
seek new ways to engage with
more political struggles, stabilise
institutions and grow their
membership.

Despite this, COSATU finds its
role diminished as a reconfigured
tripartite alliance fails to repair
a decade of damage. Unable to
convince its restless membership,
and with cadres not fully satisfied
with occasional government
positions offered by the ANC, the
SACP experiments with ‘going it
alone’ in the 2026 local government     Widespread violence broke out in Tshwane after the ANC announced their choice of mayoral
elections. To the surprise of many,     candidate for Tshwane in 2016.

it attains some 5% of the vote.         widespread informalisation of work                ability to create large and more
Fractious debate ensues on how          continue.                                         compliant ‘voter’ blocks than the
to approach the 2029 elections,                                                           urban areas.
especially in light of some violent     At the same time, a party formed
incidents between ANC and               in 2019 to campaign against                       Conferences and compacts
SACP members in the 2026 local          corruption trials (but claiming                   After a few relatively stable years
government elections.                   to pursue radical economic                        in the early 2020s, in the lead
                                        transformation) makes little impact               up to the 2022 ANC elective
Newer unions and federations            at national level, but does cut a                 conference and the 2024 national
battle to consolidate their impact      few percentages from the ANC in                   elections, the ANC finds itself
and influence and work out the          KwaZulu-Natal. This party eventually              unable to overcome the disruptive
right balance between shop floor        allies with an IFP that has made                  dynamic of factionalism. The
effectiveness and their ability to      small gains in the province.                      party splits along lines that reflect
shape the political climate and                                                           the polarisations of the NASREC
influence policy choices on the         Urban and rural divides deepen,                   conference of December 2017, but
health system and educational           as drought and a lack of support                  with more provincially based fault
reforms. Much of what had been          for rural development thrusts                     lines coming to the fore.
a constructive ‘pressure from the       ever more people off the land.                    The ANC is not alone in its internal
left’ increasingly has little effect    Traditional leaders in many                       battles: all the major political
as the growing ‘gig-economy’,           provinces make a play for greater                 parties split in the 2020s over
steep deindustrialisation and the       power and resources, aware of their               issues of both style and substance.
You can also read
Next slide ... Cancel