A Time Traveller’s Guide to South Africa in 2030, by Frans Cronje (Tafelberg)

CEO of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), our leading think tank, Cronje is a ‘scenario planner’. Cronje established the IRR centre for risk analysis in 2007, to advise boards, strategic planning teams and policy-makers on short-, medium- and long-term strategic decisions in SA.

The author and his team have chosen one question as the main axis of four possible scenarios of SA’s future to 2030. It is: will popular expectations be met or unmet? The other axis is whether the state will be dominant or weak.

The first scenario is ‘The Rise of the Right’, a new model of authoritarian capitalism that sees the erosion of democratic rights and freedoms. The second is ‘The Tyranny of the Left’, stagnant and negative economic growth rates persisting, with the state pursuing reckless, out-of-date socialist policies that lead to ratings downgrades and major capital flight.

The third, ‘The Break-up of South Africa’, portrays a weak and divided government, with fragmentation, factionalism and confusion reigning. The fourth is the most positive one, ‘The Rise of the Rainbow’, with SA no longer a country in which people wait for the government to do something for them, but do it for themselves, the government creating the conditions for them to do so. SA, with a booming middle class, becomes an Asian tiger without the authoritarianism in The Rise of the Right.

Cronje tells the chilling story of the origins of the Arab Spring, which engulfed 16 oppressive countries in the Middle East and North Africa in murderous turmoil, which brought down even long-time dictators with total power such as Gaddafi. The touchstone was a poor Moroccan street vendor, who due to total frustration with obstacles put in his way by an uncaring government, and corrupt police demanding bribes, set himself alight in 2010. Massive demonstrations began at his funeral.

“Why does this matter to us? If you live in SA you already suspect the answer: because the circumstances that led to Mohamed Bouazzi setting himself alight describe very closely the daily struggle of millions of poor young South Africans. Massive unemployment, an out-of-touch, arrogant and corrupt government, and a rising tide of public violence.”

Asked whether SA might face massive economic and political destabilisation, the IRR answers are guarded. “This is not to suggest that SA will descend into the chaos of the Middle East. To be clear from the outset, we do not think it will, and none of the scenarios in this book describe worlds as violent and chaotic as we see in the Middle East. But political change and economic destabilisation can take many forms, and we are headed towards our own unique brand of trouble,” writes Cronje.

So which scenario prevails? Read the book to see. Gripping stuff.

Available in English and Afrikaans, for R220.

For more on the Time Traveller’s scenarios, visit www.frans-cronje.com

 

Annie Sloan Paints Everything

If you love rejuvenating furniture and turning antiques into contemporary eye-catchers, this book is up your street. My mantra is always ‘paint everything’, says UK-based Annie Sloan, one of the world’s most respected experts in the field of decorative painting.

Since she launched in South Africa in 2013, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has made its way into dozens of retailers across the country. Her Chalk Paint is a unique, eco-friendly, formula that sticks to just about any surface – inside and outside the home - without the need for priming or sanding.

Each of the 40 step-by-step projects in this book guides you through Sloan’s methods for creating spectacular effects to transform walls and furniture, as well as floors and fabrics.

Everything is accompanied by clear instructions and helpful tips. Featured techniques include stencilling, printing, waxing and dyeing. You can find out, too, how to combine colour for different styles and how to tap into your creativity by painting patterns freehand. No matter what your skill level, this book will enable you to make over your home to create the stylish, individual interior you have always wanted.

Available for R285.00 from takealot.com