It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since the launch of the Indlulamithi SA Scenarios 2030. To date, the project’s work has extended far and wide. Our research and scenarios have fed into debates on economic, national, regional and institutional strategies, been used by various institutions as a planning tool, and also been included in key institutional reports.

All of this activity has encouraged our project team to continue with its work, ask strategic questions, and implement structural changes that will help the project be even more effective and impactful.

Hence, we are now on a process of updating the scenarios to consider the shifting national and international context and include the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic struck, the project team had to challenge its approach, we therefore asked ourselves: How do scenarios function in the wake of unpredictable black swan events? How do all three scenarios remain relevant when the economic and social outlook looks so dire? Are Nayi le Walk and iSbhujwa even imaginable when it looks like Gwara Gwara is not ‘bad enough’?

COVID-19 has changed so much of our world – some of it permanent and in other instances only temporary. As South Africa builds back better from the pandemic, scenarios must play a more vital role than ever, helping us envision and pursue a desired horizon.

Entering this next phase of our project, we are engaging with leaders and experts from different sectors to identify key long-term concerns about South Africa up to 2035. Our key focus on social cohesion won’t change, however, our intention going forward will be that the Indlulamithi scenarios support South Africa in recovering from the current crisis – and support the reconstruction to build a more inclusive economy.

We’re excited about the next 15 years and the role our work will play, and as we go through this period of change, we’ll share regular updates on our website, newsletter, and social media pages. We thank everyone who has been on the journey with us so far, and we look forward to more people embracing the power of scenarios in our next phase.