The Dinokeng Scenario Team acknowledges our long legacy of entrenched inequality,racism, sexism and oppression. It also recognises the significant accomplishments made since 1994. However, there are deep social and economic challenges that face our country, challenges that may degenerate into time bombs unless they are squarely addressed.

This section focuses on the country’s balance sheet: its national “assets” and “liabilities”. We focus on the primary gains we have made, and the primary challenges we still face. It is not our intention to provide a catalogue of every conceivable achievement or failure.

In evaluating the nation’s balance sheet, we are mindful of the heritage of our past. The legacies of the past continue to haunt us: the brutal repression and economic deprivation, the crippling effects of inferior education, poor housing and health services under apartheid; coupled with the hierarchical liberation culture and impact of ‘liberation now, education later’ and ‘making the country ungovernable’. These all carry their imprint on the present. Much still needs to be done to address this legacy, but we must also not allow it to obscure the mistakes we have made in the past 15 years and the critical challenges that these mistakes have yielded.

The Scenario Team poses the following key questions about the future of our country:

How can we as South Africans address our critical challenges before they become time bombs that destroy our accomplishments?


What can each one of us do – in our homes, communities and workplaces – to help build a future that lives up to the promise of 1994?



Perspectives from members of the Dinokeng Scenario Team.

We need to see how the global economy responds to the current crisis. Where there is volatility in the pricing of primary commodities, how will the South African economy withstand this? The new centres of growth – India, China, Russia and Brazil – will impact on South Africa and we will see lower rates of growth over the next five years. We’ve seen the reduction of unemployment from 31% [in 2003] to 23% – any reversal would be dire.

A word of caution: there are constraints that we need to accept and live with. We cannot behave as if we are insulated and living on an island. We have a small and open economy. We are not a closed economy.

We need to work out our role vis a vis the region. Do we want to be the powerhouse or just another SADC country? What is our responsibility to the region? Take the xenophobia – do we have the capacity to process the nuance about what constitutes an economic versus a political refugee? Does Home Affairs know how to deal with this?