South Africa is in a mess. It is getting messier by the day.
The trend-line is clear – in the fullness of time it will be getting worse if there is no fundamental change to almost every facet of how we do things.
An article published on 17 September 2020 on www.mybroadband.co.za (South Africa’s downward spiral since 1990 ) sets out the downward trend-line for South Africa’s death spiral over a twenty-nine-year period. The data excludes the COVID-19 induced plummet, which would make the trend-line considerably steeper. It is going to take a mighty effort to set things on a better path.
It is up to each citizen to do the right and proper things, to be an influential Leadership Activist.
We have been accomplices with our indifference, if not the actual perpetrators.
To those who cannot see or deny our condition, I say to you, if the mind is blind, the eyes are useless.
To help appreciate what is at play, I offer you a general check-list of what a failed state looks like, as defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica.*
I have highlighted the areas where South Africa is culpable.
You be the judge…
“Failed state, a state that is unable to perform the two fundamental functions of the sovereign nation-state in the modern world system: it cannot project authority over its territory and peoples, and it cannot protect its national boundaries. The governing capacity of a failed state is attenuated such that it is unable to fulfill the administrative and organizational tasks required to control people and resources and can provide only minimal public services. Its citizens no longer believe that their government is legitimate, and the state becomes illegitimate in the eyes of the international community.
“A failed state is composed of feeble and flawed institutions. Often, the executive barely functions, while the legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy, and armed forces have lost their capacity and professional independence. A failed state suffers from crumbling infrastructures, faltering utility supplies and educational and health facilities, and deteriorating basic human-development indicators, such as infant mortality and literacy rates. Failed states create an environment of flourishing corruption and negative growth rates, where honest economic activity cannot flourish.
“The dynamics leading to and compounding state failure are many and varied, including civil war, ethnic violence or genocide, and predatory government and bureaucratic behaviour. State failure comes in degrees and is often a function of both the collapse of state institutions and societal collapse. A strong state provides core guarantees to its citizens and others under its jurisdiction in the three interrelated realms of security, economics, and politics. A failed state cannot maintain a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence and minimize internal conflict. It cannot formulate or implement public policies to effectively build infrastructure and deliver services or effective and equitable economic policies. In addition, it cannot provide for the representation and political empowerment of its citizens or protect civil liberties and fundamental human rights. Thus, state failure manifests itself when a state can no longer deliver physical security, a productive economic environment, and a stable political system for its people.”
* https://www.britannica.com/topic/failed-state. Access Date: 22 September 2020.
A Snap-shot of our Reality… 2020
If South Africa is not yet a ‘failed state’, then it is close…
It cannot be business as usual if we are to arrest the trend!
Proper leadership, influential Leadership by enough Citizens, in every walk of life,
in every social domain, is what can turn a failing country into a success story.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.