Newsweek & PCG: Problems in South Africa

South African Village Durban, South Africa

South African Village Hut              Building in Durban, South Africa


Newsweek and PCG both have reported problems in South Africa.  Here is what Newsweek reported:

Fleeing From South Africa

Fourteen years after apartheid,
why are the best and the brightest leaving Africa’s most successful state?
Newsweek – Feb 14, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Feb 23, 2009

No one should be surprised to read that Zimbabwe has suffered massive emigration in recent years, especially among its white minority. But much less expected is the fact that next-door South Africa, the continent’s wealthiest and most developed country, is suffering a brain drain of its own (if on a smaller scale).

The South African government doesn’t keep reliable emigration statistics. But even as the global financial crisis has caused emigration from most other countries to slow, a number of recent independent studies show that mass departures from South Africa are ongoing and are sapping the nation of its skilled and best-educated young citizens. The most dramatic figures can be found among South African whites, who are leaving at a pace consistent with the advent of “widespread disease, mass natural disasters or large-scale civil conflict,” according to a report by the South African Institute on Race Relations.

Some 800,000 out of a total white population of 4 million have left since 1995, by one count. But they’re hardly alone. Blacks, coloreds (as people of mixed race are known in South Africa) and Indians are also expressing the desire to leave. In the last 12 years, the number of blacks graduating in South Africa with advanced degrees has grown from 361,000 to 1.4 million a year. But in that time the number of those expressing high hopes to emigrate has doubled…

The primary driver for emigration among all groups, but especially whites, who still retain the majority of South Africa’s wealth, is fear of crime. With more than 50 killings a day, South Africa has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world. The same goes for rape—ranking the country alongside conflict zones such as Sierra Leone, Colombia and Afghanistan.

Another largely unnoticed problem is the growing number of attacks on South Africa’s white farmers. As in neighboring Zimbabwe, some of the attacks appear to be racially motivated. Others seem simply opportunistic, but the result is that white farmers’ numbers continue to decrease, leading to fears that despite the government’s good intentions, a Zimbabwe-style crisis—where the flight of skilled farmers led to an agricultural collapse—is possible here too.

Then there’s the problem of affirmative action, which many whites feel limits their opportunities for advancement and which keeps many émigrés from returning. “You can attract people home, but there are still the same concerns when they get here,” Chen says. “Crime and lack of job opportunities if you’re not the right color.”

Still another factor driving out citizens of all races is the country’s political crisis. National elections are due in April, and the likely next president, Jacob Zuma, faces a battery of serious corruption charges and accusations of autocratic behavior. Zuma’s ruling ANC party has been split by a rebellion of former loyalists, and increasing numbers of South Africans express concern with the health of their young democracy. The leadership vacuum has also distracted attention from pressing national concerns like energy. Last spring the country was engulfed in rolling “brownouts” as the electric grid ground to a halt because of mismanagement.

For all these reasons, even the global economic slowdown hasn’t been enough to keep qualified South Africans at home. Of the country’s 25,000 registered accountants, fully a quarter now live overseas. Engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants are all in increasingly short supply. In February, Health Minister Barbara Hogan said South Africa’s doctors are “constantly being poached” by places like Canada, Australia and the United States—among the most popular destinations for wealthy white émigrés.

Banks and investment companies are forced to look for talent overseas, and Eskom, the disgraced national electricity provider, has recently begun scrambling to attract electrical engineers back home, but with little success.

The long-term effects of this exodus are already being felt in other critical ways. The vast majority of South Africa’s emigrants are also the country’s best and brightest. Compounding the problem is the fact that while South Africa has lenient policies toward admitting refugees from elsewhere in Africa, the import of skilled labor is still quite onerous—meaning that as more and more trained workers leave, there are fewer and fewer replacements. Pretoria needs new policies to balance these flows, says Debbie Milner of Future Fact. “Africa has a huge amount of skilled people in it, and many other African countries have better education systems than our own.”

To succeed, post-racial South Africa also needs to move nonwhite professionals quickly up the ranks in all sectors of its economy, and the government’s black-empowerment plan centers on ensuring that more of its citizens get advanced degrees. But as growing numbers of these graduates express a desire to follow their white colleagues out the door, the prospects for continued economic empowerment are dimming.

“We were dumbfounded by the incredibly high numbers of people who claim they’re seriously considering leaving South Africa,” Milner says. While unemployment for whites has increased more than 100 percent since the end of apartheid, it remains as low as an average European country, between 7 percent and 8 percent. Joblessness among blacks, on the other hand, is hovering at around 50 percent. “If the qualified nonwhites are leaving too, that is pretty dire for black economic empowerment,” Milner says.

To be fair, not all the signs point in one direction. The global economic downturn has led to anecdotal reports of South Africans returning from the once hot economies of Europe and North America. Others who were recently on the verge of leaving have now decided to stay put, in some cases when their offers were rescinded at the last moment.

Here is what PCG reported:

South Africa: The Next Zimbabwe…

Fourteen years after the end of apartheid, some people are longing to return to its relative prosperity. For millions of South Africans, the Mandela “rainbow” revolution has become a gloomy cloud. Segregation laws are no more, but conditions are much worse.

An astounding 40 percent of South Africans now live beneath the poverty line. And according to the Southern African Regional Poverty Network, since the official end of apartheid, “households living in poverty have sunk deeper into poverty and the gap between rich and poor has widened.”

The exact unemployment rate is contentious. Unions place it at around 40 percent, while official government statistics say it is “only” around 23 percent. Either way, it is horrendous. Unemployment in the U.S. during the Great Depression peaked at around 25 percent.

And, although government ministers claim that South Africa is still growing and will avoid “recession,” conditions on the ground indicate that “official” recession has already arrived. Investment bank Barclays warns that the economy is currently contracting. Over 200,000 jobs were lost during the last quarter of 2008—a very large number for a country with a population of only 44 million. The U.S. equivalent would be akin to losing 1.4 million jobs over that time frame.

“The growth picture has soured radically,” warns absa Capital economist Ian Marsberg, “we are in for a rough ride next year.”…

Violence runs unchecked throughout much of the country. It was estimated, according to 2006 figures, that a woman is raped in South Africa once every 26 seconds. During that year, less than 1 percent of rapes led to a conviction.

Murderers run free too. About 19,000 people were murdered last year—more than 50 per day.

Rule of law has become the rule of organized crime. Just yesterday, 500 police in South Africa’s crime-ridden commercial capital, Johannesburg, went on strike, accusing authorities of failing to bring senior officers to task over corruption.

Last Friday, the government disbanded the country’s elite anti-crime investigating unit, known as the Scorpions. Why, especially when the Scorpions had a much better track record than the police at solving crime? According to Agence France Presse, it was because they fell afoul of the ruling African National Congress party for their corruption investigation of anc leader Jacob Zuma. Zuma is expected to become the country’s next president when elections are held, probably in April.

But as bad as conditions are in South Africa, they may be about to get dramatically worse.

South Africa’s government has shifted radically to the left, according to the Sunday Times. In a move to placate angry voters and cement power, the ruling anc party’s Jacob Zuma is pushing a manifesto largely dictated by the country’s Communist party. Zuma’s election promises, if adopted, could easily bankrupt the country.

The anc already promises a free allowance of water and electricity to all people and has introduced “the largest welfare state ever seen in a developing country,” according to the Times. More than 40 percent of the population currently receive state handouts.

But the state handouts are only beginning.

The possibly soon-to-be-published new state manifesto is said to call for universal health insurance, free education, increased child allowances, new maternity grants, wage subsidies, an old age savings scheme, subsidized housing for farm workers and military veterans, and free food handouts to all poor families.

But perhaps the bigger shock is the manifesto’s proposal to transform “the private sector through the development of cooperative financial institutions.” In other words, nationalize and communize the economy.

Zuma’s program also calls for the state to take over the South African central bank.

Economists are astounded.

Greta Steyn, a leading South African financial analyst, says that the markets are being set up for a massive crash and are “in denial.” Servaas van der Berg, professor of economics at Stellenbosch University, said that just the proposal for a basic income grant of R100 (us$10) would force up marginal income tax rates from 40 percent to 66 percent.

So where will South Africa get the money to finance all these reforms?

Jacob Zuma, whom the Times describes as knowing relatively little about economics, seems unconcerned.

But here is a hint: Zuma will get the money he needs the same way his pal Robert Mugabe gets the money he needs.

Lest we forget, Zimbabwe used to be even more prosperous than South Africa was at its peak. But then Robert Mugabe set off on his post-colonial reforms, his social programs, his government handouts, and the land grabs. And how did Mugabe pay for it all? First, he redistributed the land in order to fill his coffers and buy favors. When that wasn’t enough, he started nationalizing other sectors of the economy, including some of the world’s richest mines. But that wasn’t enough either. So eventually, he was forced to nationalize and assert complete control over the nation’s reserve bank—that way he could print whatever money he wanted to pay the bills. Unfortunately, that destroyed the value of Zimbabwe’s currency—completely wiping out what little savings his people had left. But Mugabe and his cronies got filthy rich in the process, moving assets offshore, or converting their devaluing dollars into gold or other currencies.

The anc’s supposed desire to nationalize South Africa’s central bank should be a clear indicator of what is headed in South Africa’s direction: Zimbabwe economics. And that means a Zimbabwe standard of living for the vast majority.

Things are about to get much tougher in South Africa.

Africa’s modern history is a continent filled with nation-states in various stages of post-colonial collapse. South Africa was a notable exception to this rule for several decades after becoming an independent republic. But now, that is changing—and rapidly. The true cause for South Africa’s wealth, and the reason it is now disappearing, is rooted in the nation’s historical connection to the British Empire. Biblical prophecy outlines the curses South Africa increasingly finds itself under, curses that are destined to grow worse in the time ahead.

When my wife and I visited South Africa over 20 years ago, we met a woman from Rhodesia (renamed Zimbawe) at church who told us that she felt that the fleeing that had began in Rhodesia in her time would be repeated in South Africa.  And to a degree, she has been correct.

Essentially, although there are supposed to be laws to protect the farmers in South Africa, sometimes for political reasons, those laws are ignored.  Hence, food production is now also problem and many seem to feel that they are subject to losing everything if they remain there.

As South Africa essentially in made up of those of upper African and European, including Anglo, heritage, the following three articles may give some clues about its future:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?
Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?

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