Problems Facing South Africa And Solutions: South Africa is one of the happening countries in Africa with a wonderful environment, numerous tourist attractions, and some excellent infrastructural facilities to match. However, just like every other country in the world, South Africa is not devoid of national problems affecting its citizens, residents in the country, and the nation as a whole.
In this Article I shall examine some of these National problems affecting South Africa today and equally proffer viable solutions to curb these problems.
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National Problems in South Africa
Some of the most common National problems affecting South Africa today are:
1. Corruption: Corruption is a major issue facing South Africa today. This issue of corruption is deeply rooted in the past of the country that it seems that it has come to stay, especially in the political sphere. Over the years there have been notable cases of mismanagement of public funds particularly during the tenure of President Jacob Zuma, more recently there was a standing committee on public accounts probe on President Cyril Ramaphosa for allegedly using public funds for party political purposes, and same is similar case amongst other Political figures in the system, notable for conniving public funds for personal use, and at the end of the day they are not held accountable for their actions.
In the Administrative and other sectors of the South African economy, this issue of corruption equally lies deep, but mostly in the form of bribery and extortion. This rampant issue of Bribery and extortion amongst both private and public persons and entities in South Africa has even led to the Criminalization of bribery in South Africa under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA), but this has not done enough to curb this prevalent issue of corruption in the state.
2. Unemployment: Another common issue in South Africa is the issue of unemployment. According to the International Monetary fund, the unemployment rate in South Africa is about 35%. This is a large proportion for a country like South Africa, and this issue is often prompted by the slow economic growth in the country, shortage of jobs or well paying jobs especially for the youth population, the labour demand an supply mismatch, the lack of specialized training of many, and the legacy of apartheid which has caused economic, political, and social inequality, hence only favouring only a few and throwing the rest under the bus.
The unemployment rate in South Africa is slowly rising to be one of the highest in Africa; this undoubtedly constitutes a major problem to the country and its citizens.
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3. Poor Healthcare system: South Africa notably has a poor healthcare system which has resulted in disease burden in the state, and ill health of citizens in the country; which is another issue of its own. According to Lancet Healthcare Access and Quality Index, South Africa’s healthcare is ranked 119 out of 195 countries in the world.
The health care system in South Africa has been characterized by low accessibility, especially for those living in the rural areas, inefficiency, institutional frameworks that perpetuate inequality, and the fact that health needs of citizens in the state exceeds its capacity. Additionally, the health care system is quite expensive, hence making it nearly impossible for the poor to receive quality healthcare.
4. Poverty: Nearly half the adult population in South Africa lives in Poverty and this issue of poverty is said to be on the rise especially after the impact of 2020 COVID pandemic on the country. Currently, there is a poverty rate of about 40% in South Africa.
This issue of poverty in South Africa has been largely attributed to the high rate unemployment of citizens in the country, issue of food insecurity, corruption on the part of the Government, lack of access to good and services, and the limited access to resources in the State.
5. Insecurity: Insecurity is the state of being susceptible and open to danger or threat of danger. According to a Public opinion survey in South Africa, the common issues in the state are Unemployment, Corruption, and crime. This has been a common feature in South Africa over the years with the rising rate of crimes in the state, commonly in forms of robbery, rape, carjacking, stealing, and murder.
This issue of Insecurity is largely attributed to bad leadership in the state and the inefficiency of security officers in the state.
6. Racism: Another common issue in South Africa is Racism. There is a high level of racial segregation, uneven distribution of resources, and racist exploitation and impoverishment of blacks in the state. This is a National problem in the state which has escalated with the series of xenophobic attacks killing over 300 blacks in the state in the past few years.
This issue has greatly affected tourists and people residing in the country as some of them have met their waterloo or been subject to some sort of abuse or discrimination.
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7. Inequality: Flowing from Racial discrimination, Inequality is another issue in South Africa. As a matter of fact, generally South Africa has one of the highest inequality rates in the world today, and specifically according to Aljazeera, South Africa is the most unequal country in the world.
This issue of inequality is fostered by the high unemployment rate, the legacy of apartheid and racial and spatial segregation in the state, and this inequality has been exemplified in all sectors of the South African economy, grossly affecting residents in the state and the economic output of the country.
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Solutions to problems in South Africa
The solution to the aforementioned problems in South Africa is as follows:
1. Strict Enforcement of Laws: It is instructive to note that while there are already a good number of laws tailored at curbing corruption in South Africa, this issue has continued to lingerie and will not end, unless these laws on Corruption are strictly enforced by the Government, Security, and other Law Enforcement agencies.
Definitely, when offenders are punished accordingly in line with the provision of the law, it will serve as an effective Anti-corruption effort which will deter them and others too from committing similar acts of Corruption. So doing will help greatly in curbing the issue of Corruption in South Africa.
The strict enforcement of other criminal laws in South Africa will equally help curb the issue of insecurity in the country, as it is one thing when crimes are committed and perpetrators walk freely, and when perpetrators are frequently arrested and prosecuted. The later will definitely reduce the acts of crime prompting the issue of insecurity in South Africa today.
2. Inclusive Policies: One issue which has affected the economic growth of South Africa is the segregation of residents in the state. So therefore, the Government should develop inclusive economic policies which will equally include all races without any sort of marginalization and discrimination in the market. The truth is that only the efforts of citizens in a country cannot engender Economic stability.
If you check all top economies in the world, they are all a product of the efforts of citizens and majority of foreign investments in the country. Hence, policies should be put in place by the Government to support foreign investments, business, and individuals in South Africa. Developing and implementing inclusive policies will definitely procure Economic growth in South Africa.
Additionally, Inclusive policies should also put in place by the Government and relevant bodies in the Health care sector in order to bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor, and the urban and rural areas in South Africa.
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3. Fostering Technological Advancements: Technology is the inn thing in the world today, so there the Government of South Africa should rightly invest purchasing technological equipments and engendering technological advancements in the country, this will help in developing the soft skills of citizens in the state, and providing more job opportunities which will definitely ameliorate the rate of unemployment in the State.
4. Utilization of resources in the State: South Africa is a country blessed with numerous resources, and the only way forward should be the proper utilization of the available resources by the Government. By properly utilizing the resources in the State, the Government will be able to solve two major issues facing it today which are the issue of Poverty and Unemployment.
When all the resources in the state are properly utilized, more job opportunities will be created, and likewise the proper utilization of resources in the state will generate revenue for the state and help curb the long standing issue of food insecurity caused by gross poverty in the state.
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5. Skill Acquisition programs: Another solution to the issue of unemployment is the organization of free skill acquisition programs by the Government or benevolent individuals in the State. This initiative will equip citizens with the necessary skills to even start up their own brand instead of waiting for employment opportunities which may not be high paying.
6. Development of a Comprehensive Primary Health care system: Poor health care system and the high cost of Health care has been a major issue in South Africa, especially for the poor and other people living in rural areas, so therefore the Government of South Africa need to put in measures to develop a comprehensive primary health care system, as well as establish publicly funded Health care systems in poor provinces in South Africa.
Embarking on these two actions will significantly improve the health care system in South Africa.
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This Article has addressed the major issues in South Africa on one hand, and the solution to these issues on the other hand. Strictly implementing these aforementioned solutions will definitely help curb these problems currently faced in South Africa.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.