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South Africa Under “Fragile Stability” Essay

2299 words - 10 pages

South Africa is currently known as the most advanced, broad-based economy on the continent (South Africa Info, 2015). While South Africa has been developing, it has become more stable than before with its stability. Consequently, this essay will examine the meaning of the strength of state and how the strength has been changed in South Africa since 2005. Furthermore, the discussion on the current state of the nation will be attempted to explore by looking at the various debates, such as the social issues, the State of the Nation Address, the Budget Speech and Fragile States Index. A brief historical overview on South Africa will be stated to establish a comprehensive ...view middle of the document...

Four drivers of fragility have been distinguished by Cilliers and Sisk (2013:7), which refer to poor or weak governance, high degrees of conflict or violence, high levels of inequality and economic exclusion, and poverty. It is supposed that strong states exercise well across these categories, whereas weak states show a mixed profile of fulfilling expectations in some fields and poor performance in others. Therefore, we will take consideration of each driver into the state of South Africa now and before.
South Africa under “Fragile Stability”
According to the article, Fragile Stability: State and Society in Democratic South Africa, South Africa is characterised as “fragile stability” with the contradictory nature of its transition ten years after apartheid (Beall, Gelb & Hassim, 2005:682). The nation faces enormous social problems, such as poverty and inequality, unemployment, HIV/AIDS and personal and property insecurity (Beall, Gelb & Hassim, 2005:682).
Even though South Africa has one of the world’s highest levels of inequality and high rate of unemployment and South Africa still faces several issues, statistical data shows that the country has developed and even able to finance its own development programmes. Firstly, it is officially estimated that the broad unemployment rate was 41.8 per cent in 2003, while the recent statistical data shows much dropped rates to 35.1 per cent in 2014 (Statistics South Africa). Mohr & Fourie (2008:278) states that jobs must be made at an appropriate rate to keep unemployment as low as possible and the South African government has applied different policies and strategies aimed at dealing with this high rate of unemployment (NUMSA, 2014). Nevertheless, these policies and strategies have failed to create enough jobs for young people and they caused to fail to reduce youth unemployment (NUMSA, 2014), and it is found that the high rate of youth unemployment is usually caused by young people being unskilled or receiving no quality education (National Treasury, 2011:5). This leaves the South African government with its duty and obligation.
Secondly, according to Interpol data, South Africa had the highest murder rate in the world with 64 murders per 100,000 in 1997. In 2010, the rate has been dropped to 31 murders per 100,000, whereas the highest rate in the world recorded 90.4 homicides per 100,000 in Honduras in that year (UNODC, 2012). The problems also experience an aspect regards to different genders in which the statistics for women are commonly worse than for humans. The impact of the transition to democracy in South Africa on social groups and commitment to the state is explored in relation to increased standards of social welfare and decreased rates of crime and unemployment, yet they are still high. It is seen as the society is stable with an established non-racial democratic political regime and no forthcoming threat that is faced with (Beall, Gelb & Hassim, 2005:682).

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