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South Africa's 'borderline' failure - how bad is it really?

The latest edition of Foreign Policy magazine contains the 2012 edition of the Failed States Index. Produced in collaboration with the Fund for Peace, the Index once more rates South Africa as a “borderline” failed state. How much can we really read into this ranking? By KHADIJA PATEL.

There is little consensus on what exactly a failed state is. But few people would disagree with Somalia heading this year’s edition of the Failed State Index (FDI). After all, the very term “failed state” started proliferating in the English language just as the United States made its ill-fated foray into the Horn of Africa in 1992.

But if there is little surprise to see Somalia heading the FDI, then it is particularly surprising that Foreign Policy, together with the Washington-based thinktank Fund for Peace, do not consider a single state in Africa to be “stable”. South Africa, Botswana, Seychelles and Ghana are the only “borderline” cases in a continent riddled with state failure.

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-07-11-south-africas-borderline-failure-how-bad-is-it-really
 

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Graph Showing SA's long term (10 yr benchmark) yield over past 14 years


http://blogs.r.ftdata.co.uk/beyond-brics/files/2012/07/ZA10Y-July-10-2012.png

SA's borrowing costs reached an all time low yesterday. I think this succinctly answers the question about where SA is going. Trust me if there was a hint SA was heading to failed state status, this information would have been reflected in the bond yield, it's one of the most sensitive leading indicators of the sustainability of any country. or economy. Politically we might be in the dumps, but economically SA's poised to be one of the big players over the coming decade. Still anything's possible...

Economic Growth : 3.5% (long term) > Population Growth (1.1%) = Growing Middle Class
 

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BOFH Extraordinaire
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I think the term "Failed State" is incorrect.. or the report is not granular enough.

We are far from a "Stable State" or anything of the sort, but we are not Failed..

I would classify SA as a "Challenged State"... we have challenges, but they are not insurmountable.
 

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Annman
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I would agree. I think it's too nebulous to declare states as either stable, near failed or failed states. There are elements in SA that are "failed" but others that are well-organised and stable. I do think if you look at many small individual municipalities or government departments, like Basic Education... Yes, they'd show a FAIL. Whilst many NGO institutions, civil society organisations, the judiciary, even some government departments, like Treasury, SARS etc... These are a success.
 

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Hi guys...I think SA has lots of challenges, some will not be solved as long as we continue to allow Jhb to grow...not to be a hater, (I am in Jhb myself but I'm from Dbn). It is interesting how for the first time I heard a prominent member of our government saying "Jhb and Gauteng as whole does not make sense, economically!" I strongly agree with this statement. Imagine Jhb CBD 30 years ago...if anyone hinted, move the economic hub to CT or Dbn, people would have made a noise about costs, blah blah...but I look at Jhb CBD presently and guess what? The economic hub has moved, just not to CT or Dbn! My question is what happened to the noise, was it not expensive to move to Sandton? Have we considered how much Sandton affects Jhb, which in turn affects Gauteng and how the location of this significant yet insignificant Province impacts on SA? When I came to Jhb, I was shocked to discover how poorly it is designed, for a so called "world class African city!" There are positive things about Jhb, few, but lots of negatives! Just imagine, half the cars must be in Gauteng if not more, how much more expensive is fuel up this side, this is a cost most South Africans must absorb one way or another, how many head offices are here? I am well aware that HOs are costly regardless of where they are but it helps (the rest of the world shows it) when the economic hub is much better located. The location of Jhb was based on gold by shortsighted people that forgot that gold is a diminishing resource, also a luxury, not a good product to base your economy on! Look at Australia, as a large mining country, their economic hub is Sydney, not Melborne(the mining capital of Australia), even though both have good locations and contribute heavily on the GDP.
 

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P.E. Aubameyang
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I think the term "Failed State" is incorrect.. or the report is not granular enough.

We are far from a "Stable State" or anything of the sort, but we are not Failed..

I would classify SA as a "Challenged State"... we have challenges, but they are not insurmountable.
+1.
 

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Annman
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The Oasis is a hotbed of bigotry and hatred. Many forumers drag down the debate into ethnic attacks. Nothing good comes from the advice of some of the Oasis hotheads.
 

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C A P E T O W N
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Another interesting article from Daily Maverick:

Analysis: South Africa - the world is looking, and it's not liking

As cheeses go, Ruchir Sharma is a big one. Based in New York, he’s head of emerging market equities and global macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Sharma has what many would consider a dream job: he spends his life on an airliner, travelling the world, examining those global markets in intimate detail, and deciding where to invest the billions entrusted to him by Morgan Stanley and its clients.

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-07-11-analysis-south-africa-the-world-is-looking-and-its-not-liking
 

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^^Not to dimiss the legit concern, but really now. Morgan Stanley is now castigating SA? Considering how the West/US/Anglo-Saxon Finance has lost credibility over the past couple of year, do they have a leg to stand on and criticise SA? Who the f#$k do they think they are? Surely they should be putting their energies into extricating themselves from what is effectively bankrupcy?
 

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BBC Africa Debate
South Africa At 18

BROADCASTS
Fri 31 Aug 2012 20:05 BBC World Service
Sun 2 Sep 2012 14:05 BBC World Service

Presenters Audrey Brown and Karen Allen ask whether race relations in South Africa have improved over the last 18 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00x8h4d
 
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