An economic dip

By on December 10, 2013

The colours of the rainbow nation in South Africa have dimmed. The passing of former President Nelson Mandela has left the world in sadness, and the economists in an uncertain state of mind. ‘What will happen now?’ seems to be the question on everyone’s mind.

In 1994 Mandela stood in front of the nation, bringing hope after a dark time. This hope has seen the economy grow in the 19 years since. However, in Mandela’s opinion the economy would only bloom once the inequality of apartheid was removed.

The employment status in South Africa has had a dark presence hovering over it post-apartheid. Opportunities are there, but more need to be created. The unemployment rate has been at a stationary 25 percent for years – with no signs of promising change.

The real tax revenue has doubled since 1994, expanding social welfare, but is it enough? Unemployment is now coupled with falling education standards and a shortage of skills, resulting in an uncertain future – a future that South Africans hoped would be secure.

South Africa has received an ample amount of prospects prior to the late Mandela being elected as its first black President, but the gap between the rich and poor is furthering apart, pushing economic freedom into the side-line.

The death of Mandela was announced by President Jacob Zuma late on Thursday 5 December 2013, but economists are already predicting that his passing could prompt an economic and financial slump in South Africa.

Mandela’s role in the development of South Africa is unquestionable. Significant progress in the economy was made under his leadership; a stepping stone to greater heights. Now, economists fear that the hard work could be coming undone.

Mandela’s rational ways and persistence provided a stable political platform for the fledgling South African economy, providing opportunities for black workers, and rebuilding institutions that once based employment criteria on nepotism and no skills.

Economic problems will always present themselves, and employment problems still have a long way to go to be completely dealt with. Mandela may not have led South Africa all the way to its dream objective, but he did manage to steady the economic ship.

By Raisa Fisher

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