Focus on the future: South Africa could learn a lot from Vietnam
THERE is something from Vietnam that South Africa could learn from. While the powers of the US, China and Russia fought in Vietnam for different reasons in an all-out conflict that involved the entire region, the outcome could have been similar in South Africa.
South Africa was already on the cusp of a civil war with Mandela admitting that the ANC was being trained and financed by the communists.
Everyone agrees that apartheid was an abomination, but the outcome in South Africa could have been so much worse than it was.
For one, there could have been outright civil war, with the entire fabric of society being destroyed, deaths and destruction of the country like in Vietnam and Cambodia. In Vietnam alone there were something like 1 to 4million deaths (estimates differ) overall.
Then from 1975 to about 1995, Vietnam implemented the communist ideal until the country realised it was not lifting its people out of poverty, and turned towards capitalist ideas.
Since then the country has prospered and continues to do so.
Surrounding countries like Thailand were 20 years ahead of Vietnam because they had embraced Capitalism right from the very beginning, and had hotels and a booming tourism industry.
Vietnam has ultimately followed the same model. Vietnam is also a relatively small country with a population of over 90 million people. There is little crime and it has a booming economy, where manufacturers are producing many goods.
I feel South Africa could learn a lot from Vietnam.
If they can leave the past in the past, then maybe South Africa could do the same: focus on the future and make the country safe, effective and competitive, like Vietnam has.
In South Africa costs are still too high such as accommodation, cars and the basic cost of living, which means everyone has to make the change to make the country better.