iSbhujwa South Africa is defined by deep social divisions between the rich and poor, unremitting social protests which are put down firmly by the state, and self-interest as the dynamic that keeps society moving.

Nobody is much interested in social reform, nation building and altruism. The country has exhausted its citizens. “Send someone else!” is the refrain of the day.

The rich minority – black and white – live in their walled-off, highly protected enclaves where their every need is met by a privatised service. Private education and healthcare. Private water and power generation. Private security services provided by the biggest security industry in the world.

The poor inhabit a separate world entirely and “maak ‘n plan” to compensate for the failings of public services. Low-cost community creches and schools flourish and some out-perform public institutions. Pop-up “pharmacies” provide access to the medication that the ailing population depends on. The hustle of small businesses is part of the social glue of poor communities.

This “can do” spirit is underpinned by a sense of national pride and a shedding of any sense of second-classness. Although school performance does not improve, schools and universities produce more assertive graduates who embrace their African identity.

In the world of business, established corporates confine investment to opportunities that guarantee substantial profits, largely in monopolised sectors. Some growth comes from start-ups, supported by development agencies and incubators, and from light manufacturing supported by government. But mainly economic growth stems from the services sector which expands initially – before being slammed by the 4th industrial revolution.

The growing middle class includes a large number of JAMs – those Just About Managing – who are often just a pay cheque or two away from poverty. Despite their precarious position, they adopt the trappings of “bourgeois” life in terms of fashion, food and tech trends.

Women finally take a stand against chauvinistic patriarchy and fight back against the violence to which generations have been subjected. They create – and sometimes violently enforce – zones of safety for themselves and their children. Improved social services also begin to reduce domestic and sexual violence.

GDP growth averages a mere 2.2%. Unemployment drops – but only slightly – and at 22% in 2030 it is still far too high to enable social cohesion.

The union movement is divided and weakened. In 2024 the ANC split threatened in 2017 finally occurs. But the ANC is not alone in its political turmoil: all major political parties split during the
course of the 2020s. An alliance of opposition parties forces the ANC into coalitions at national and provincial level in 2024.

The rate of land redistribution improves, partly due to appropriation of unused private land. But under-investment in agriculture sees a decline in food production and food security.

While the capacity and competence of public institutions improve, there is a failure to re-establish public trust.

Trust is generally in short supply. South Africans have few opportunities to connect across the class barriers and younger generations confront unearned privilege more aggressively. There never was the “new TRC” that some people hungered for. Reconciliation ventures by government and faith communities gain little traction.

But at least a spirit of constitutionality survives and the courts remain independent. Even those who exercise “insurrectionary citizenship” alternate between the barricades and the court room.

For the full Indlulamithi scenarios go to

Partners & Sponsors

Contact Us

Call us

011 518 0260


Subscribe to our newsletter