The Cooperation Nation

Kalahari sociable weavers build largest tree nests in the world. Cooperatively-built nests can house 100 bird families.
Bounce-back birds, their cooperative nature allows them to thrive and recover from disruptions and disasters.

2035 Scenarios

The 2035 Economy

Between 2024 and 2029, the government bolstered Eskom and promoted private power provision. They allowed municipalities and private companies to generate up to 200MW each, stabilizing demand. Coal station closures were expedited, while Kusile and Medupi operated efficiently. Private sector support revitalized Transnet. Reduced crime rates since 2030 attracted tourists, boosting GDP contributions from tourism and related industries to 4.5%, creating over a million jobs. The creative sector doubled its GDP share to 4%, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Corporate-state collaboration pulled South Africa from a low-growth cycle, attracting strong FDI flows. Improved internet access spurred e-commerce and innovation. The ‘gig’ economy provided new income opportunities. Construction extended to social housing, curbing urbanization. The informal sector gained focus, aligning employment ratios with global norms. By 2035, South Africa achieved a ratio of 44:38:18. Immigration increased, with many diaspora members returning, benefiting the economy.

Power and Governance

In the mid-2020s, disillusioned South Africans saw a failing government despite economic growth. This sparked a wave of mobilization demanding accountability. The 2029 election ushered in a coalition focused on listening to the people. While progress was gradual, renewed political vigor instilled confidence in voters. After the 2034 election, a ‘Concord’ agreement among major parties formed a stable government. Now dedicated to fighting corruption and reducing crime, South Africa is signaling its openness for business. This has led to a return of trust in global ratings. The Concord parties are poised to secure a majority in the 2036 local elections.

Grassroots Uprising and Protest Culture: In the mid-2020s, discontent over high unemployment and crime sparked widespread public protest against an indecisive government striving for stability amidst global challenges.

Mobilized Social Movements: Social movements, unions, interfaith alliances, and NGOs orchestrated marches and strikes, exerting substantial pressure on government and businesses in response to prevailing issues.

Artistic Influence: During the unrest, artists played a vital role in nurturing protest culture, drawing inspiration from sports and cultural icons, further fueling the movement.

Coalition Government and FDI: Post-2029 elections, a broad coalition government focused on ‘listening to the people’, effectively addressing concerns and attracting unprecedented foreign direct investment.

Electoral Shifts and Consolidation: The fiercely contested 2034 election saw major coalition parties improve positions, solidifying their influence, reshaping the political landscape.

Green Transition and Job Growth: A managed shift to a greener economy spurred sector expansion, resulting in consistent unemployment reduction since 2029. Current rates stand at 18%, with youth unemployment at 35%, marking a significant improvement.