South African Futures 2030: How Bafana Bafana Made Mandela Magic

ISS Paper No. 253

36 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2015

Date Written: February 15, 2014


This paper presents three scenarios for South Africa up to 2030: ‘Bafana Bafana’, ‘A Nation Divided’ and ‘Mandela Magic’. The nation’s current development pathway, called ‘Bafana Bafana’ is the well-known story of a perennial underachiever, always playing in the second league when the potential for international championship success and flashes of brilliance are evident for all to see.‘Mandela Magic’, on the other hand, is the story of a country with a clear economic and developmental vision, which it pursues across all sectors of society. Competition is stiff and the barriers to success are high. The scenario of ‘A Nation Divided’ reflects a South Africa that steadily gathers speed downhill as factional politics and policy zigzagging open the door to populist policies. The impact of the policy and leadership choices that South Africans will make in the years ahead, explored in this paper, is significant. The South African economy could grow 23 per cent larger in ‘Mandela Magic’ compared with its current growth path (‘Bafana Bafana’). The paper concludes with seven strategic interventions required to set South Africa on the most prosperous 'Mandela Magic' pathway.

Suggested Citation

Cilliers, Jacobus (Jakkie), South African Futures 2030: How Bafana Bafana Made Mandela Magic (February 15, 2014). ISS Paper No. 253, Available at SSRN: or

Jacobus (Jakkie) Cilliers (Contact Author)

Institute for Security Studies ( email )

PO Box 95507, Waterkloof
Pretoria, Gauteng 0145
South Africa
+27-12-3469500 (Phone)


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