SA is most frag­ile state that’s not in a civil war

CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN justin.brown@city­

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.

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