PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
So,Recently
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 834
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all So,Recently's badges.
 

SA's Critical Crossroad

16 June 2017, 23:00

So, recently I’ve been reading a book called ‘Why Nations Fail’, which attempts to provide reasons for why certain countries in the world are more prosperous economically than other countries, and what factors within a country brings about the creation of wealth.

The theory proposed by the book centralizes on institutions, specifically political institutions and the subsequent economic institutions that are formed by it. The book posits two forms of institutions, inclusive and extractive. Extractive institutions are those institutions that are formed to serve only a narrow elite with power and wealth, while an inclusive institution is one that all members of a country can join in to, such as democracy and the free market economy. The book goes on to convincingly argue that inclusive institutions are more capable of growing a country’s economy than extractive institutions.

With these lessons in mind, I will set out to apply this theory to South African economic and political institutions.

South Africa’s political institutions appear to be quite inclusive. We have a well-established, proportional representative democracy. Alongside this, we have other strong inclusive political institutions. These include a Constitution, with an enshrined Bill of Rights to prevent Government’s abuse of power, as well as a Constitutional Court and Parliament which should, in theory, keep the executive power to account. Should all these institutions work as intended, which one could argue either way, we could with some confidence state that South Africa is politically inclusive.

Economically speaking, it is a whole different story. It doesn’t require many words to express why South Africa currently have an extractive economic institution, passed down throughout the ages. More news and articles on the current State Capture see the light every day. The elite, in this case particularly President Zuma and his Gupta chums, are milking the country for their own benefit. As one example of this, Zuma upgraded his private home to the tune of R248 million of taxpayers’ money in 2014. This is in a country where the unemployment rate currently sits at 27,7% and 12 million citizens live in extreme poverty. With this example in mind, as well as a cursory glance at the headlines of any major news publication, we can assert that the elites in the country are extracting wealth from the poorer citizens.

These two factors introduce us to another term coined in ‘Why Nations Fail.’ That term is ‘critical juncture.’ A critical juncture is defined as: “A major event or confluence of factors disrupting the existing economic or political balance in society.” South Africa is currently facing a critical juncture. More information regarding the extent of the extractive economic institutions set in place appear daily. South Africa is experiencing its first recession since the 2008 worldwide economic crisis, and its unemployment rate in at the highest in 13 years. Politically, the ruling party is being torn apart between pro-Zuma and anti-Zuma factions, vying for control.

These critical junctures can cause our current mix of institutions to go two ways. Zuma can be removed through our politically inclusive institutions, such as a vote of no confidence in Parliament, or Zuma can use his wealth and power to consolidate his control and form more extractive political institutions. This, for example, would take the form of a proxy Zuma presidency through his ex-wife, Dlamini-Zuma, or his refusal to step down after the end of his second term.

As such, South Africa currently stands at a crossroad, and the path it takes might determine its future for decades to come. Should Zuma and his cabal strengthen their political control, SA will probably see the formation of a dictatorship and more extractive political systems, as has been the case throughout other African countries. On the other hand, should Zuma be removed from power peacefully through South Africa’s established inclusive political systems, the future president might be able to dismantle some of the existing extractive economic institutions, such as the presiding system of State Capture, and create a more inclusive economic institution, to the benefit of all and not the few. 

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
maseratifittipaldi
Reply to the Nelson Mandela Found...

Yes, there is no question about it. We need radical change. Social justice. But what are the ills we see? What are the solutions?  Read more...

0 comments 283 views
Submitted by
Chili Nel
ANC Adieu

A clearly debilitated ANC is limping along to 16 December, hoping for a miracle cure; something that would heal the suppurating sores on it’s mangy coat and save it from decaying into oblivion. Read more...

0 comments 356 views
Submitted by
Sean Parker
Which car would you max on this r...

If given the opportunity to reach the top speed of any car on an airfield, which set of wheels would you choose to go blisteringly quick in a straight line? Read more...

0 comments 4638 views
Submitted by
MikeHampton
Third force behind The President'...

Politics is a knife that cuts into the Public every which way it can. Politics is the sociopath, the Public its willing victim. The Public needs to demand better instead of praising sensationalism, gossip and bias over logic and truth. Read more...

0 comments 1826 views
Submitted by
GakwiMashego
Palestinians have nothing to gain...

Palestinian political unity is the biggest threat to the occupation. And demanding that Hamas disarm is the biggest threat to the unity agreement between Palestinian factions. Read more...

0 comments 175 views
Submitted by
Robyn Boake
Once the pride of CT, the MyCiti ...

Up until recently it was a service that Capetonians were proud of, a service bragged about as an example of what could be achieved as a solution for the masses. But that all changed. Read more...

0 comments 1311 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.