SA is most fragile state that’s not in a civil war
South Africa’s ranking on the Fragile States Index (FSI) has worsened significantly over the 10 years to 2017, largely due to increasing economic pressure, according to the 2017 FSI.
“With the exception of Senegal, South Africa is the most worsened country not in active conflict or civil war,” the FSI said.
The FSI is an annual rating of 178 countries based on the different pressures they face that impact their levels of fragility.
Countries are rated on a scale of zero to 100 with a score of less than 20 being very stable and a score over 100 rated as a “high alert” or a “very high alert”.
The FSI is run by the Fund for Peace, a Washington-based nonprofit research and educational organisation.
In 2006, the FSI assessed South Africa at 55.7, which is within the stable category.
South Africa’s score moved up 14.9 points over the 10 years to 2017 to a score of 72.3 points, which means it has seen a significant worsening in its stability and now has an “elevated warning” status.
Only five countries out of the 178 assessed have seen their stability deteriorate more than South Africa’s over the 10 years to 2017.
These countries are: Senegal (increased by 15.4 points), Mali (hiked by 17.4 points), Yemen (rose by 17.9 points), Syria (added 22 points) and Libya (climbed by 27 points).
“Over the long term, [South Africa’s] economic decline indicator, in worsening from 2.8 in 2007 to 7.1 in 2017, has reflected the severe economic challenges facing the country,” the FSI added.
“What should worry South Africa the most is that the group grievance, state legitimacy and security apparatus indicators have recently spiked, along with a renewed worsening of the factionalised elites indicator.
“This suggests that both the country’s leadership as well as the population as a whole are dangerously fragmenting, and rapidly so,” the FSI said.