South Africa

South Africa a failed state – Sygnia CEO

Magda Wierzycka

Sygnia founder and CEO Magda Wierzycka said she does not want to leave South Africa but is growing increasingly pessimistic about its future.

She made these comments during a Brenthurst Wealth webinar on investing during turbulent times on 23 March.

Wierzycka told delegates South Africa is a failed state, and nothing is on the horizon that would change the situation.

Municipalities, which form the backbone of South Africa’s government, cannot provide basic services like water and electricity.

She highlighted that municipalities are essential as they are constitutionally mandated to procure and provide critical services to citizens.

Besides daily power cuts due to load-shedding and infrastructure failures, the water supply is also becoming unstable.

She said 45% of water in South Africa is lost within municipal water systems due to poor infrastructure, poor maintenance, and illegal connections.

This is untenable as a water-scarce country with one of the world’s highest water consumption rates.

Many people hope the 2024 general elections may result in a change, but Wierzycka said this optimism is misplaced.

Even if the ruling party loses the elections and makes way for a coalition government, it is unlikely to improve things.

“If the municipal elections are anything to go by, we are looking at complete chaos of coalition governance,” she said.

“We don’t need to look further than the City of Joburg and Tshwane and what happened there.”

Wierzycka said that “clobbered together” alliances have formed in many municipalities after the 2021 local elections, only to collapse soon afterwards.

“Without a stable municipal government, the delivery of services is likely only to be crippled further,” she said.

She added that the prospects of a DA/ANC coalition – which many analysts have pegged as the best hope for coalition governance to succeed – are incredibly slim.

“I don’t want to say I’m negative about [South Africa], but I am negative about it,” Wierzycka said.

“I don’t want to leave this country; I love this country. But I am out of ideas in terms of what we need to do to fix what we are facing right now.”

“When I look at the mess which has been created, I cannot see the light at the end o the tunnel.”