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Playing a game of luck or skill?

05 March 2012, 13:34

What  is South Africa's next best thing,narrative and vision?News24 reported yesterday that "the ANC wants a new constitution and contemplating dramatic changes to South Africa's 1996 Constitution.


Is South Africa therefore playing a game of luck or playing a game of skill planning to go down such a road?


Luck is defined as the success or failure brought about by chance rather than through one's own actions. Has a combination of various circumstances and events in post-Apartheid Democratic South Africa brought about good fortune or ill will to South Africans? Sometimes it has to be said that your luck can run out,so then what do you do if that happens?


Skill,on the otherhand, is a particular ability to do something well; a learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. The ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).


For South Africa to be a successful country it needs to have:


1.Values and local culture knowledge and understanding as their key success factors. It needs to understand all of the local customs completely and the human dignity, freedom and democracy associated with that, hence the catastrophe many countries that are not successful,,faces.

2. It needs a rich literacy and literacy rate amongst its populace,high life expectancy rates and a healthy nation overall.

3.A government should translates its objectives into achievable targets, clearly communicates these and then tap into the right resources to achieve their goals, then have a rewards based system for levels of contributions made by its citizens.

4.Policies made by government must be value-driven, agile, lean, protective of its key mandates, but open for discussions,debates and change and based on creativity and knowledge rather than it tossed aside as BS as soon as we disagree with their policies.

5.Flat organization,high level skill architecture which will enable all inside our borders to tap into the core assets of the economy and contribute to South Africa's success, but with sufficient control to adjust the plans quickly with the chosen strategy in force.


If South Africa wants to be seen as a global game changer,then it needs to be one locally too and not habitually neglect the interest and concerns of all of its people regardless of culture or race. Understanding the demographic trajectories and their associated social, economic, and security implications fully so as to improve how the overall cultural developments contributes to a wider awareness and understanding of global issues are paramount.


Take food shortage and poverty for example. According to recent UN/World Bank estimates, there has been an increase in the number of people living in poverty in parts of Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and Africa. Asia has seen a decline in the number of people in poverty (using $1 a day)threshold as their anchor point,whereas in Sub-Saharan Africa it has risen significantly.


Obviously there are differences on how poverty is defined. Some use the absolute versus relative poverty when measuring,then others go by household poverty or a person as the unit of measure. Poverty could be measured using a relative poverty indicator, in which the "standard" for poverty increases as a country's income increases, or using an absolute poverty indicator, such as what poverty means in poor countries.


The ANC had failed thus far to combat poverty in South Africa. The World Bank Global Poverty Monitor says its still waiting for South Africa's poor to become less poor and to rise in equality. The ANC's goal of transforming the ownership and composition of the economy to reflect the country’s demographics more accurately has thus far only worsen our situation.


Therefore South Africa would need to be:


1.Good at attracting quality foreign investments. Foreign investments = Capital investment + employment + tax revenue.It's that simple. Provide local and overseas businesses coming into the country with good physical and financial infrastructures, political stability, free competition, highly educated and competent workers, and very attractive tax incentives. It's not sufficient anymore to call ourselves the "gateway to Africa" and portraying South Africa as the "hub" for the region and the place to be in.Luck does run out even here.Skill is required.



2.South Africans should enjoy a low cost of living. Thanks to cheap Chinese imports that shouldn't be a problem. Except for the so-called vice and controlled items and products. If South Africa were to impose almost nothing on imports, then we can stretch our rands far enough to make ends meet.


3.South Africans should be made to save financially through a centrally provident fund for retirement. Encouraged people to buy homes as a means to increase wealth preservation.


4.In South Africa,the anticipated health sector reforms was aimed at achieving universal health coverage for all citizens. Success of it will depend largely on social solidarity and willingness to pay for health care according to means, while benefitting us on the basis of our needs.



5. Root out corruption. If government officials are not poor with a township background as incentive to get rich quick, then they should all be very well-paid,so no need for then to become corrupt! There is a lesser need to be corrupted when you do not need to earn an extra 200 rands to pay for your son's/daughter's school fees or further education.


6.Government needs to set a good example of being "clean" themselves. They have set up an office to investigate corruption and irregularities in South Africa and therefore should not hesitate to enforce strict laws to punish offenders.


7.Crime reduction. South Africa needs to have an effective police force and Internal Security Department. Not one where "more than 27 000 police officers on active duty have failed on the firearm proficiency". There is no reason to behave violently,when people feel they are treated fairly and nicely. They will live generally well and happy. There is nothing much to fight for and be violent about.


8.For South Africa to be successful,it needs to promote racial harmony and religion tolerance.Pay little interest in local politics and world events might aid in this. Not being too passionate about rooting and rioting for just any old any cause, then there is the less likelihood of feeling violent.



From a social aspect, the government should provide sufficient amenities and infrastructures to the people of the nation so that they will be able to lead a comfortable and convinient life. The country's natural resources should be used wisely to prevent the depletion of those valueable resources. Not only that, if the government is able to determine and invest in lucrative fields and obtain good income in return, the money can then be used for the well being of all South Africans,not just a select few.


It's certainly no an easy task to make a nation progress,successful and to flourish in a short period of time. However, nothing is impossible and if strong efforts are taken,any nation can be successful. And as for changes to occur, changes needs to be made. It's not just a lucky bounce or close call,but skill and determined effort to make it work. 




2.Playing the Percentages.

5.Public spending on health care in Africa: do the poor benefit?

7.UN/World Bank.

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