Midday Report Freedom Day Special: 4 scenarios for South Africa's future

When one begins to look at scenarios for our country, where does one start?

Stephen Grootes talks to Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations Centre for Risk Analysis on this Freedom Day Midday Report Special.

Cronje in his book _A time traveller's guide to our next ten years _gives an overview of the various scenarios that may play out in the South African political and economic arena over the next 10 years.

Painting different series of scenarios, running from the authoritarian right to what one may call the tyranny of the left, Cronje offers up various possible futures for South Africa.

The first thing to accept when we look at the future is we are not going to forecast it accurately to a future point in space and time. And that's why we work in scenarios top sketch a series of plausible futures.

Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations Centre for Risk Analysis

Using key trends in our society, he outlines the four most likely scenarios for South Africa, which he calls the Narrow Road, the Wide Road, the Rocky Road and the Toll Road.

He speaks about a number of scenarios and ends with one he considers to be most attractive and best case for the country.

We've called it The Rise of the Rainbow. What happens here is that broad common ground is found in a new political coalition.

Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations Centre for Risk Analysis

He argues this coalition may be structured in a number of ways.

It could come from the better parts of the ANC with the better parts of the DA. It can be the DA building a broad coalition around some of the smaller parties. And this coalition either in 2019 or 2024 finds itself in control of national government.

Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations Centre for Risk Analysis

It's also understood that in order to remain in control, it has to secure a rapid short-term improvement in the basic living standards of people. And it does so by placing South Africa's very capable private sector in a position where much higher levels of capital investment, domestic and foreign, into the country drives the growth rate to 5%.

Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations Centre for Risk Analysis

This would be a watershed, he says, driving unemployment levels down.

The rise of this scenario by the mid-2020s can create a stable country which has preserved its civil rights culture, he concludes.

Take a listen:

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