South Africa deteriorates further into Gwara Gwara scenario, 2020 Indlulamithi National Barometer shows

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South Africa deteriorates further into Gwara Gwara scenario, 2020 Indlulamithi National Barometer shows
South Africa deteriorates further into Gwara Gwara scenario, 2020 Indlulamithi National Barometer shows
  • Indlulamithi SA Scenarios 2030 held its annual Indlulamithi Day on 19 June 2020, unveiling its 2020 National Barometer findings, and introducing new Provincial Barometers
  • The Indlulamithi National Barometer shows South Africa trending further into the Gwara Gwara scenario from the previous reading, with a sharp decline in levels of social inequality
  • The Western Cape and Gauteng’s Institutional Capacity and Inequality indicators scored better in comparison to other provinces, thus indicating a positive trend towards social cohesion, and in turn the Nayi le Walk scenario
  • The Eastern Cape’s high Social Inequality and poor Institutional Capacity indicators have placed the province deeply in the Gwara Gwara scenario, while the North West indicators leave the province furthest away from Nayi le Walk
  • The full 2020 Barometer reading is available here

Johannesburg, South Africa – 24 June 2020 – South Africa is still trending towards the Gwara Gwara 2030 scenario, which is characterised by sharp levels of inequality, high unemployment, poor economic growth and a demoralised nation with a decay in morality, according to the latest findings from the Indlulamithi SA Scenarios 2030 annual National Barometer. South Africa, which was 46% trending towards Gwara Gwara in 2019, is now 52% within Gwara Gwara, brought on by recent challenges around land redistribution, increased severity of load shedding, and unreliable community water supplies – all of which impacted on social cohesion.

Two years ago, Indlulamithi set out to understand what a socially cohesive South Africa would look like, and to what degree social cohesion is attainable by 2030. Following an intuitive-logic approach, Indlulamithi developed Key Driving Forces (KDFs): Social Inequality, Institutional Capacity & Leadership, and Resistance, Resentment & Reconciliation (RRR). The three KDFs were used to write storylines for three possible 2030 scenarios for South AfricaGwara Gwara, iSbhujwa, and Nayi le Walk. Each scenario charts different pathways towards or away from social cohesion, and the resulting socio-economic impacts, inspiring society to reflect: Where do we want to go? And how do we get there?

The 2020 National Indlulamithi Barometer is the first to provide a year-on-year trend reading on which of the three Indlulamithi Scenarios is becoming more prominent in the country. It builds on the launch of Indlulamithi’s Barometer in 2019, tracking which of the indicators have gone up, down or stayed the same in the previous year. To produce a reading, the Barometer analyses data, trends and perceptions within 53 indicators, organised into the three KDFs.

While the Barometer usually compiles a year’s worth of public information released between July and June the following year, the 2020 reading includes information from July 2019 to February 2020. It therefore reflects the trend South Africa was on before the COVID-19 crisis.

“While this year’s Barometer does not measure the impact of COVID-19 on the country, it is nonetheless highly relevant in the current crisis situation,” says Dr Somadoda Fikeni, Indlulamithi Project Leader. “It reminds us of the structural weaknesses we already had when the health and economic crisis started, and which we must address to build a stronger, more resilient and more cohesive system through the crisis – and beyond.”

Which indicators moved from 2019 to result in this decline?

One year is not a long time, and so most of the original 53 indicators remained the same. However, six indicators moved between scenarios – five down and one up:

  • The return of national load shedding and the increase in severity to almost national blackouts in late 2019 and early 2020 demoted the power supply indicator from iSbhujwa to Gwara Gwara.
  • A second state service delivery capacity indicator – the provision of water – was also demoted because almost a third of municipalities in the country were recorded as providing unreliable water supply to residents.
  • An important indicator of pro-active government policy-making capacity – namely decisive progress on climate change policy – was demoted from Nayi le Walk to iSbhujwa, since progress on implementing the 2018/9 policy draft stalled.
  • Finally, there was a positive shift in the indicator for youth representation in Parliament, moving from iSbhujwa to Nayi le Walk, since the 2019 national government elections resulted in 12% of MPs being under 35 years old compared to 6% in the previous administration.

In terms of how people feel about the country and each other, the main change indicator related to land redistribution. Results from the 2019 South African Reconciliation Barometer by the IJR show that while 78% of Black respondents agree that land redistribution is necessary for reconciliation, only 46% of white respondents agree – a 36% different of opinion, which does not bode well for social cohesion.

A second indicator, for public hope in the country’s economic future, also slipped down one scenario into iSbhujwasince only 49% of citizens were optimistic about the year ahead – predominantly young black South Africans.

The Provincial Barometer readings

For the first time this year, Indlulamithi also introduced a new Provincial Barometer, tracking levels of social cohesion by province.

According to the Provincial Barometer, while all provinces have elements of each scenario:

  • The Western Cape and Gauteng’s Institutional Capacity and Inequality indicators scored better in comparison to other provinces, thus indicating a positive trend towards social cohesion, and in turn the Nayi le Walkscenario.
  • The Eastern Cape’s high Social Inequality and poor Institutional Capacity indicators have placed the province deeply in the Gwara Gwara scenario, while the North West indicators leave the province furthest away from Nayi le Walk.
  • Limpopo has positive outlooks for social cohesion, due to low inequality, good nutrition access, a low under-five child mortality rate,  as well as a low homicide rate.

“The provincial picture is important because there are major variations across provinces. It helps provide a more nuanced view of the state of the nation,” adds Fikeni. “It’s interesting to see how provinces usually considered weak economic or institutional performers are actually looking good under our Barometer, because they have better outcomes in terms of social inequality or citizen perceptions.”

The results were all unveiled at the annual Indlulamithi Day that was held on 19 June via webinar. The Honourable Thandi Modise, MP and Speaker of National Assembly, delivered the keynote address, noting she is looking forward to sharing Indlulamithi’s 2020 findings with Parliament. “The Provincial Barometer is a step in the right direction. This, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, gives us a space to look more critically at ourselves, and the capacities the state has, and do things we should have done since 1994,” she said.

As we stand on the doorway of Gwara Gwara today, these scenarios help everyone in South Africa ask: How do we get from here, to a more socially cohesive scenario?

More information on the Indlulamithi 2030 Scenarios is available at: sascenarios2030.co.za/

 

About Indlulamithi South Africa Scenarios 2030

Indlulamithi South Africa Scenarios 2030 provides tools – in the form of scenarios, research, an annual barometer, and economic modelling – to assist us in imagining alternative futures more than a decade from today. These scenarios aim to focus both leaders and people from all walks of life on the key questions of: What would a socially cohesive South Africa look like? And to what degree is this attainable by 2030?

Since 2018, Indlulamithi’s scenarios have been used as a key planning tool by various organisations; both provincial governments and government departments, civil society and the private sector. The Initiative has also made efforts at influencing  international agencies that have representation in South Africa. ,.

The project is led by Dr Somadoda Fikeni and a diverse group of partners and stakeholders across society, including the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), Anglo American, National Planning Commission and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

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