South Africa – The Next 20 Years

Over the next decade, the need for social reform in South Africa will surpass economic transformation, as the most pressing issue of our time. Family breakdown will be more important than economic slowdown.


South Africa passed through a historic political transition from the 1980s through the 1990s. Now, after almost 2 decades of democracy, the big debate in the nation is around economic transformation. Today, the country faces a looming blindspot, in the area of social decay.

– Urbanization is impoverishing outlying rural, and historically informal settlements, of educated are upwardly mobile individuals.
– The globalisation of values is seeing a breakdown in family structures, and the family nucleus in particular.
– A lack of coherent cultural norms, which instill and maintain moral standards, result in outgrowths of sexual exploitation and abuse.
– Materialism and a superficial desire for status symbols and prestige, hamper investment in education, the building of assets, and other long-term transformational behaviors by citizens.

By 2023 South Africans will be more occupied discussing the need for social reform, in families, communities, schools, churches etc than economic growth. By this time, the population will include a vast cohort of young people who are poorly socialised, have high aspirations but little by way of a coherent worldview, unable to lead themselves to concrete action in terms of betterment. This blindspot results from the fact that the political and economic legacies of Apartheid, played themselves out much quicker, than the social legacies well

The so-called, “education” debate in South Africa at present, will need to change and become more about social reform than about literacy and numeracy alone.

This necessitates action today. Action at various levels of the social construct, to drive positive change, and secure a positive social future for the young people of South Africa.
Marius Oosthuizen
Futurist – Faculty, Researcher – Consultant

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