Reports that recent surveys, which have been conducted in some fields, have ranked South Africa as Africa’s ‘best’ or ‘leader’ provide some sort of relief to fears that the country is on a terminal decline to Zimbabwe levels. Some would argue that the good news means that negative sentiments about the country’s future are exaggeratedly alarmist.
The surveys prove that, despite statistics of economic growth which have been recorded in some parts of Africa, arguably, still no country on the continent can rival South Africa’s economic might. South Africa is still the continent’s benchmark in different fields, notwithstanding the challenges it is currently facing.
Nevertheless, if South Africa is to make the most of its membership of recent powerful economic grouping called BRICS (Brazil Russia India China and South Africa), surely, it has to aspire for standards higher than being Africa’s best. The world knows that most governments on the continent cannot do the most basic things a governments are expected to do for their citizens – food security, primary health care facilities and quality education facilities.
There is no question that, with its massive potential, South Africa should set itself superior targets. Thus, different institutions in both the private and public sectors should compare their performance and operations to ‘peers’ in developed countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany. And in its facilitating role, Government should provide an ideal environment for the institutions to thrive.