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[Opinion] South Africa’s high road or low road or somewhere in the middle…

August 24, 2014

I have some “famous” friends, some have been quoted in various quarters talking about the country’s ‘high road’ and ‘low road’…so here’s my take:

Low Road- the situation in South African peri-urban communities, townships, is unacceptable. Little or no investment has been made into economic-enabling infrastructure since the dawn of our hard won democracy. As result, these communities have become crime ridden, densely populated enclaves of poverty, squalor and joblessness. The elders have lost their dignity and the young have lost hope, together they are losing patience in the rainbow that has no pot of gold.

Soon (and very soon) all patience will run out and the have nots will want to take away from the have everything (in the suburbs and airconditioned offices). If they can take it, they will burn it or raise to the ground.

Middle Road- political elites will increasingly be pressured to advance inclusive policy reforms that impose transformation and sidelines one sided economic benefits.

Simple ideologies like “black industrialist” class will increasingly be favoured over inclusivity and an increase in the black middle class will be aligned to political influence, not hardwork and entrepreneurial endeavor.

High Road- there is hope amongst the “educated”, the well travelled and the economically emancipated. The economically astute minor will do it’s best best to blockade the inevitable transformation of the economy out of an unfounded fear of the unknown.

9 out of every 10 people in South Africa and the only inevitable outcome is that the “black” or brown skinned middle class will growing increasingly powerful (beyond political power). The inevitable future is collaboration amongst economic elites.

The “sharing economy” will be redefined in South Africa, and because “sharing is caring”, growth for the economy and the brown skinned majority becomes inevitable.

South Africa will takes its rightful place as the African continent economic powerhouse and class issues will no longer be racially biased. VQ


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