South Africa in 2030: What is possible?

South African Futures 2030: How Bafana Bafana made Mandela Magic

On 17 February I attended the launch of the report  ‘South African Futures 2030: How Bafana Bafana made Mandela Magic’ hosted by the Institute for Security Studies,  looking at the Future of South Africa in terms of various scenarios.

According to the paper, authored by Jakkie Cilliers, the three scenarios for South Africa up to 2030 are: ‘Bafana Bafana’, ‘A Nation Divided’ and ‘Mandela Magic’.

WATCH the video infographic here


  • Bafana Bafana: The nation’s current development pathway, called ‘Bafana Bafana’ is the well-known story of a perennial underachiever, always playing in the second league when the potential for international championship success and flashes of brilliance are evident for all to see.
  • Mandela Magic: ‘Mandela Magic’, on the other hand, is the story of a country with a clear economic and developmental vision, which it pursues across all sectors of society. Competition is stiff and the barriers to success are high.
  • A Nation Divided:  The scenario of ‘A Nation Divided’ reflects a South Africa that steadily gathers speed downhill as factional politics and policy zigzagging open the door to populist policies.


According to the ISS:  the “impact of the policy and leadership choices that South Africans will make in the years ahead, explored in this paper, is significant. The South African economy could grow 23 per cent larger in ‘Mandela Magic’ compared with its current growth path (‘Bafana Bafana’). The paper concludes with seven strategic interventions required to set South Africa on the most prosperous ‘Mandela Magic’ pathway”.

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