By 2030, thanks to wise political leadership and sound economic strategies, the nation of slow-getters has become a country of go-getters.

South Africa is still grappling with joblessness, landlessness and inequality but the reality is that life is better for some . . . and there is hope for others.

A huge investment in early childhood development and primary school education eradicates the educational crisis at higher levels. South Africa finally moves off the bottom rung of the global literacy and numeracy ladder.

Technical and vocational colleges are producing cadres of skilled artisans who are snapped up by infrastructure development programmes and public funding of university studies, instituted in December 2017, begins to pay dividends.

In addition, educational institutions at every level play a critical role in encouraging civic values and helping all pupils and students understand colonialism and apartheid, and grapple with reasons for the persistence of sexism, racism and xenophobia. The seeds of mutual understanding are sown.

Determined efforts to ensure that South Africa forms part of the “Africa Rising” story and South-South development strategies lie at the heart of the reconfigured economy. Even Brexit gives South Africa – along with the rest of the Commonwealth – an economic boost!

“Focus” is the mantra of those guiding the South African economy. Specific projects are initiated to jump-start and support private sector-led growth in agriculture, tourism, mining and light manufacturing. Many of these projects help to ensure that growth is accompanied by increased employment.

An outstanding economic success story is South Africa’s fuel cell industry. Another is its rural land redistribution programme which not only transfers 4 000 state-held farms to new owners but assists them to use the land productively. This occurs in the context of expanded agro-processing of wood, fruit and maize and the realisation of the state’s Mineral Beneficiation Action Plan.

Many digitally savvy young people are capable of creating sustainable livelihoods independently of the public and corporate sectors through self-employment in community-level services and micro-enterprises.

During the 2020s, the average national growth rate is 4.5% and unemployment declines to 16% by 2030. Income inequality begins – very slowly – to shrink.

However, growth does not make life simple for government, trade unions or political parties. Protests continue around the country. The labour movement fractures and new unions focus on organising the previously unorganised and promoting pro-poor growth strategies.

The ANC, however, retains power in 2019, with a reduced majority, and continues to govern
nationally. Some crucial public policies contribute to increased national cohesion, including

  •  Urban land reform that creates multi-racial blended suburbs or “blurbs”.
  •  The introduction of national health insurance that ensures access to healthcare for all.
  •  The successful prosecution of high-ranking officials and their private sector counterparts
    who were involved in the massive corruption of the 2010s.
  •  Better recruitment, training and discipline of public servants which reignites respect for
    public institutions.
  •  Building capacity in the South African Police Service which eventually gets a bitter grip on
    crime, after an initial surge in criminal activity by international syndicates.

This government-initiated action is complemented by an infusion of new blood into political
parties and civil society organisations. Well-connected young people get involved and stay
involved.

A national concord for social cohesion is concluded by civil society and government, seeding new
programmes to people across divisions of race, class, gender and religion. The promise of a
better life for all becomes more tangible, not simply through government actions but by the
power of people taking charge of their own destinies.

For the full Indlulamithi scenarios go to www.sascenarios2030.co.za/scenarios