South Africa

South Africa will not become Zimbabwe – but it has serious problems

Dawie Roodt

Renowned economist Dawie Roodt said that despite having many big problems, South Africa will not follow in Zimbabwe’s footsteps.

Roodt told Nuuspod that South Africa’s problems include dismal state finances, collapsing local authorities, and poor state-owned institutions.

However, it will not become another Zimbabwe. “If South Africa fails as a country, it will fail as South Africa. We will not become like Zimbabwe,” he said.

Roodt explained that there are many reasons why South Africa will not become another Zimbabwe.

First, South Africa is a large country with a diverse society. “South Africa has numerous ethnic, religious, and interest groups,” he said.

Another reason is the country’s highly diversified economy. Zimbabwe, in comparison, relies primarily on agriculture and mining.

“South Africa has a large, diversified, and sophisticated economy. It has liquid financial markets which are well managed,” he said.

So, while South Africa has been mismanaged by the ruling party, which caused tremendous damage, it is not the same as Zimbabwe.

However, it does not mean South Africa will not face tremendous problems if it does not change its ways.

Roody explained that the two countries are similar in that a liberation movement took over the government. In both cases, the ruling party mismanaged their country.

However, unlike the ruling ZANU–PF in Zimbabwe, the ANC’s grip on South Africa is not as strong.

“We have an active civil society, an independent press, and a good judiciary that works,” Roodt said.

He added that even the ANC, for the most part, abide by rulings from the courts. This is good news for the country.

“This does not mean things can’t go horribly wrong. We have serious economic problems. However, we can solve these problems,” Roodt said.

He highlighted that South Africa had previously overcome tremendous challenges during the transition from Apartheid to a democracy.

“Let us trust democracy. Let’s work together and see if we can, once again, facilitate a peaceful political transition.”


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