top of page

How Bad is South Africa Actually?

I grew up in the heyday of Apartheid South Africa. In those days, my country was run according to legislation based on race and, more pointedly, one race dictating to another how they will live. You don't have to be a social justice warrior to acknowledge that this was wrong. In 1994, thanks to the efforts of people on both sides of the divide, we got what had eluded us for most of the 20th century – freedom and democracy.

Fast forward to 2023. South Africa today makes headlines for all the wrong reasons. Seemingly, there is not a single public sector in our country that is not in crisis. Corruption. Crime. Inequality. The list goes on and on. It is difficult to be positive about where we are going as a nation. Yet, how bad is it in reality? It is easy to see that, in our mainstream media, there are dark days upon us, brought about by, it seems, a wholly incompetent and corrupt government that inflict upon us, its citizens, misery and hardship while they go about plundering our economy and enriching themselves at our expense.

Okay. Let us take a step back and examine the realities, as they are rather than as MSM and our powers that be would have us believe …


Every year since 1995, an NGO named Transparency International has put out what it calls the Corruption Perceptions Index, or CPI. It lists a collection of 180 countries from around the world, and scores them between 1 – 100. This figure is determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys. The CPI generally defines corruption as "abuse of entrusted power for private gain".