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‘Rainbow Nation’: South Africa’s troubled past and uncertain future


South Africa’s latest COVID-19 outbreak is yet another challenge for a nation beset with difficulties in recent history, as the profound impacts of apartheid linger.

While the racist system was abandoned in the early 1990s, the 26 years since have been far from stable.

July’s violent protests, triggered by the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma, highlighted issues that have been festering for decades.

Over 44 per cent of the country’s population are unemployed – which is currently the highest rate of unemployment in the world.

Much of the population is steeped in poverty, with a reported 55 per cent of South Africans living in poverty.

However, the government is looking to invest in a range of social measures, outlined in its 2030 National Development Plan – aimed at addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality.

South Africa’s political transition was one of the most remarkable in modern history, spectacularly shedding a racist system and setting a path toward a more harmonious and prosperous future.

The ‘rainbow nation’ still strides that path, but it’s one with more bends and hurdles than perhaps anticipated.

This week’s episode of Global Focus looked at South Africa’s troubled past and future prospects, with Sky News contributor Christopher Pyne discussing key issues facing the nation with author and commentator Dr Jamie Miller.



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