By far, the largest economy on the African continent and had been acceded to the political version of the Goldman Sachs BRIC country concept. South Africa has not been absent from the world scene since returning to the international arena in 1994. Although its demographic and economic size prevents it from ever being able to claim the status of first-rank power in the same way as China or India, it has nevertheless gained a prominent place in the field of global governance.
Unfortunately, the lack of a clear vision has cost the economy badly and looks like a shadow of its former self in the presence of the ‘big boys’. It seems like a long walk to the good old days as the country is still recovering from recession. As the long walk commences, we take a look at where it has gone wrong for the country and how the former largest economy in Africa has lost its magic touch
Poor political Decision
What was perceived as a year of gloom turned sour towards the end of Zuma’s administration. The economy struggle was masked by the previous administration and with fake pretense of growth. Prior to the emergence of Cyril Ramaphosa, there was a new burst of optimism after putting an end to Zuma’s rule.
Unfortunately, the president could do little to prevent the country from heading to recession as the damages were too bad to revive. Just as predicted, South Africa recorded it’s first recession since 2009 and economy growth drastically reduced on the eve of 2019. As the crime rate increases so does the country’s debt.
To make matters worse, unemployment rate has increased to over 37%, one of the highest recorded in the country’s history.
With over 37% of the total workforce presumed jobless in 2018, the battle for survival intensifies. Hence, it’s only Natural to see more people leaving in search of greener pasture. If Emigration is a barometer for growth then immigration is the complete opposite. Ultimately, no one wants to stay in a country where all seems to be going wrong.
If Emigration is a measurement of confidence in a country’s future, then South Africa, where a growing number of people are leaving their father’s land, is in trouble. Private schools complain about students as families move abroad. Many families are selling their homes in preparation for leaving. The most capable hands are seeking for higher Paying options abroad as the government continues to struggle over implementation of minimum wage.
But unlike previous waves, this is not just about the white leaving. There has been a big increase in black, colored (mixed-race) and Indian people who are looking to go due to lack of job opportunities..
Decline Of The Mining Sector
South Africa is one of the major producers of gold in Africa with the mining sector contributing to over 12% of its total exports. Unfortunately, more mining towns are ghosting away and mines closed down due to environmental degradation.
Despite the present struggle, Economists are backing the country to bounce back from its woes. However, the walk to yesterday is still a long one.