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Is South Africa on the brink of collapse? Experts weigh in

Umamah Bakharia

South Africans have recently been facing tough times – with economic turmoil, increased crime, inequality and/or racism. In between fuel and inflation hikes, there was an escalation in protest action in the trucking industry, where in some cases entry and exit routes into and out of towns were left inaccessible.

Over the past weeks areas such as Tembisa and Soweto were burning as protesters made their voices heard about lack of service delivery. Followed was the increased action against the illegal mineworkers known as – Zama Zamas in several communities after a brutal gang-rape of several women in Krugersdorp.

This left some commentators speculating that the country is on the brink of collapse. Radio Islam unpacked South Africa’s state with human rights activist and violence monitor Mary de Haas and Dawie Roodt from the Efficient Group chief economist.

“Our investments are way too low, one is that we are mot saving enough and the other reason has to do with confidence [in the economy,” Roodt says.

Recently, former president Thabo Mbeki made comments that South Africa could face an instance of an Arab Spring as the country faces high levels of poverty and inequality.



“What we seeing is a continuation of years of protests,” says de Haas. Adding, “the problem we have is that we are an exceptionally high violent country and we are also quite divided.”

Roodt advices that South Africa will see growth once investments are made into the country which in return will decrease unemployment and production will increase. “There are multiple obstacles in South Africa and unfortunately the secondary sector where we can potentially do something about poverty and unemployment that sector is lagging behind,” he says.

Adding on to Roodt’s opinion, de Haas says South Africans are much too reliant on grants. Which the solution she says will be by getting more people skilled in various sectors.


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