Briefing Paper

South African Scenarios 2024 : Politics, Violence and Growth in the Rainbow Nation

Three different political, economic and social scenarios is presented in this paper for South Africa until the year 2024. This is one of three publications on the future of South Africa released
simultaneously by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) that include an analysis of governance, economics and stability in the rainbow nation and a summary of broad policy recommendations that draws on the work of the African Futures and Innovation programme at the ISS. We retain and build on the three scenarios used in previous South African futures work, namely, Bafana Bafana (the most likely pathway), Mandela Magic (a possible desirable future), and Nation Divided (the downside scenario), as useful alternatives for thinking about the future. Inevitably, reality will not unfold as we describe and is much more
complex than presented in these pages. South Africa is a complex country and, just as few foresaw the transition from white minority control to democracy some three decades ago, we do not claim the ability to predict the future. These are turbulent times for the country, with the potential for divergent outcomes.