Simon, all that bombast and you miss the point. The ANC’s ‘broad church’ dominance has kept the post-apartheid political economy in place, despite deep - and growing - structural instabilities. It is common sense that its decline will activate these faults; indeed, it is already happening. In response, the ANC will exploit state resources and move in a more autocratic direction in order to maintain power. In the long run, South Africa’s strong institutions, active civil society and dynamic tertiary sector (well positioned to take advantage of African growth) will see the country through. South Africa is certainly not Zimbabwe, particularly because its capital is more mobile and its political elites are (now) more integrated into the private sector. In the shorter term, however: watch out.
After four decades of sacrificing state capacity on the altar of the market, Western countries are facing another large-scale crisis that has revealed the flaws of that approach. The question now is whether the old orthodoxy will finally be replaced.
By forcing much of the world to go online, the COVID-19 crisis has rapidly broadened the global technology debate beyond questions of surveillance and privacy. The digital policies that governments adopt today will increasingly shape how we work, learn, and entertain ourselves – and how we manage future crises.