But South Africa is also a country which harbours many fears especially for minority groups living in the country. The outbreak of xenophobic violence, discriminatory legislation and lack of leadership regarding these issues does darken the outlook for the country and its economy, if the problems are not addressed within the next few years, the results could be catastrophic.
We are a developing country, when one drives over the bridge and into the CBD of Cape Town you can only lose your breath at the sight of the colossal glass skyscrapers going up everywhere to accommodate the growing financial sector in the city which has a knock on effect regarding other industries, so in short…there is growth. There is always opportunity in a growing economy and where there is economic opportunity there is both skilled and unskilled migration. Engineers and Tradesman will flock to take advantage of the Building and Construction sector, I.T and Finance professionals will flock to take advantage of the growing Financial sector and many other professionals will flock to take advantage of all the other downstream opportunities which present themselves in our developing economy. These opportunities, when taken advantage of, change lives…there are many examples of highly qualified Zimbabwean Nationals (and others) who could not find employment in their dilapidated economies but who are thriving in South Africa.
On the other hand there are massive threats to the South African economy. The governing alliance is made up by the A.N.C, S.A.C.P and COSATU which has proved itself as an incredibly corrupt and incompetent government…the likes of which are proven by a dilapidated education system, a poor public healthcare system and poor policy making which has resulted in massive unemployment rates and the migration of skilled South Africans to other economies such as Australia and Canada. The poor and corrupt governance has also had devastating effects on industry through the underperformance and slow development of State Owned Enterprises…the most infamous being the failure of ESKOM which currently costs the economy billions of Rands worth of lost revenue not to mention the loss of much needed potential foreign investment.
So what is the consensus on the future of the Rainbow Nation? We have glass towers going up in our CBD’s and xenophobic clashes happening simultaneously in our townships…we have South African Engineers, Doctors and other professionals at the international departure gates of our airports flocking to Australia, New Zealand and Canada yet on the other side of the airport at the arrival gates we have Indian I.T Professionals, Zimbabwean Tradesman and Engineers as well as Nigerian Finance Professionals flocking in…I believe we are living in a nation that has always been changing and this constant change can either stir up soaring hopes in some…or dark fears in others.
by Ryan Van Niekerk