Is South Africa a Failed State?


Zuma and WivesIn an interview with CNN’s Pierce Morgan, former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz recently called South Africa “A Failed State” because of racial problems, murder rate and rampant crimes while discussing the Pistorius murder trial.

South Africa has an estimated population of 52 million according to the National Statistics Agency of South Africa.  It has been described as a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors and a stock exchange that is the 15th largest in the world. GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but has recovered since then. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain a challenge, with official unemployment at nearly 25% of the work force.

Current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $595.7 million. South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium. The unemployment rate is estimated to be 24.9%. The inflation rate is estimated to be 5.8% and they have $139 billion in external debt.

security-southafrica100515aCRIME RATES


There are currently 50 murders everyday in South Africa making it the country with the second highest per capita murder rate in the world. As high as the murder rate is, it has actually fallen from 66.9 per 100,000 people in 1994–95 to 37.3 in 2008– 2009. From 2003–2009, crime decreased significantly according to official police data. Between 1994 and 2009, the murder rate reduced by 50% to 34 murders per 100,000 people.


At the end of March 2012  there were 65,000 rapes and other sexual assaults reported or 127.6 per 100,000 people in the country. More than 25 per cent of South African men questioned in a survey published by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in June 2009 admitted to rape; of those, nearly half said they had raped more than one person. In addition, South Africa also has one of the highest rates of child and baby rape.

Is South Africa a failed state???

By Lillian Mhosva 2014


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