South Africa has faced massive challenges over the past five years, with state-owned enterprises in ruins, unemployment rising, and the economy stagnating.
Many of these problems are thanks to poor leadership and corruption under the presidency of Jacob Zuma.
Those who stood up against corruption and state capture – notably Nhlanhla Nene, Pravin Gordhan, and Mcebisi Jonas – were fired.
Ministers who were involved in complete failures, however, like Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini with the grant payouts, remain protected under Zuma.
While Zuma has been successful in maintaining a political support base, the economy is paying a heavy price.
The South African economy moved into recession this year, with a reported decrease of 0.7% in GDP in Q1 – following a 0.3% contraction in Q4 2016.
The country has also experienced numerous credit ratings downgrades from major agencies – Fitch, S&P, and Moody’s – under Zuma’s leadership.
This includes the latest ratings from S&P, which downgraded our local currency debt to “junk”.
South Africa vs Kenya and Egypt
The graph of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in US dollars tells a tale of a struggling economy.
What is particularly worrying about the declining GDP in the country is that other prominent African economies are growing – including Egypt and Kenya.