Volume 4, Number 2


Possible scenarios for South Africa towards 2055
Adendorff, C.M., Jonker, J.A. and Roux A.

The purpose of this article was to develop four scenarios for South Africa over the next forty years: Mandela’s Dream in which positive elements come into function for South Africa’s economy and governance; the Historical African Syndrome, in which the key driving forces unfold in an uneven pattern, or have a differentiated impact on South Africa’s economy; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in which less good governance prevails, but where a fortunate economy and firm national management allow South Africa to become competitive and benefit from satisfactory economic growth; and the Pyramid Syndrome scenario in which negative regional drivers of change corrode positive policies and initiatives in a manner which compounds the pre-existing threats to South Africa’s growth. The goal of this article was not only to affirm what is already known and knowable about what is happening right now at the intersections of South Africa and its economy, but also to explore the many ways South Africa can strengthen judicial governance and the rule of law by scenario planning, a methodology designed to help researchers, nations and organisations alike through this creative process. This article begins by identifying selected forces of change, and then combines these forces in different ways to create a set of scenarios about how the future of South Africa could evolve towards 2055.

Keywords: Future studies; drivers for change; scenarios.