The books

The books use cutting edge futures research and scenario planning methodologies to describe South Africa's short, medium, and long term - economic, social, and political future. The purpose of the books is to allow large corporations and ordinary families alike to use the scenarios to make robust strategic decisions for their future in South Africa.

The first book in the series was titled A Time Traveller’s Guide to Our Next Ten Years and was published in 2014.

It set out four scenarios for South Africa’s route to 2024. The first of these, the Wide Road, suggested that the African National Congress (ANC) would stage and internal reformation and amidst massive popular support introduce reforms to turn the South African economy around. Economic growth rates would exceed 5% by 2019 and South Africa would emerge as one of the world's most exciting emerging markets. In the second scenario, the Narrow Road, a desperate government would follow the example of the Asian Tiger economies to supress civil rights in order to force a series of pro-investment reforms against the wishes of a rebellious and hostile public. Economic growth rates would again exceed levels of 5% and South Africa would play a prominent role in shaping the evolution of increasingly authoritarian high growth economies across the African continent. In the third scenario, the Rocky Road, the government would reject the need for economic reform, become incredibly corrupt, and turn to destroying South Africa’s democracy in a bid to cling to power. The country would sink into recession amidst staggering corruption and terrible civil rights abuses. The fourth scenario, the Toll Road, suggested that infighting would see the government fail to introduce economic reforms but also fail in destroying South Africa's democracy. Support for the once dominant ANC would sink rapidly in major urban areas as the economy was brought to its knees. Massive protests would sweep the country and South Africa would enter a new and ultra-volatile era of coalition politics.

Two years after the book was published the ruling party was at war with itself. In the 2016 local government elections its support level slipped to a record low 54% as it lost political control of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth. Party leaders warned that it may lose the 2019 national election. Massive protests swept the country. Parliament was regularly thrown into pandemonium and economic growth rates hit their lowest point since the 2009 global financial crisis. In what almost no analysts had on their radars - the EFF and the DA were effectively coalition partners.

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The second book in the series is titled A Time Traveller’s Guide to South Africa in 2030 and was published in May of 2017.

Taking cognisance of the changes that have taken place in the country since 2014, the book introduces four brand new scenarios for South Africa one year after the 2029 election. The first of these, the Rise of the Right, suggests that the state will grow more powerful and authoritarian and use that authority to force pragmatic economic policies along the lines of the model followed by Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore and Paul Kagame in Rwanda. Coinciding with a global economic recovery and commodity price bounce-back those reforms will take the economic growth rate to record highs and trigger massive new job creation and entrepreneurial activity. By the early 2020s South Africa emerges as a stable and increasingly prosperous society - a remarkable turnaround that shapes the evolution of high growth economies across the continent. The second scenario is titled the Tyranny of the Left. In this scenario the state also becomes extremely authoritarian but uses that power not for reform but to extort wealth out of the tax base and the private sector while suppressing political dissent and civil rights. Land and businesses are nationalised and property rights destroyed. In this future the economy will stutter and stumble along, foreign and domestic investment will dry up, and living standards will fall. South Africa collapses into the grip of a cruel dictatorship and all hope for a better future is lost. The third scenario is titled The Break-up. In this scenario the state weakens as the economy stalls and amidst rising levels of internal conflict South Africans drift apart into enclaves. Behind their high walls the more prosperous enclaves become de-facto private countries with high standards of living. But outside of the walls the rural poor will fall under the control of tribal leaders while an emerging gang culture becomes the de-facto government in urban slums. As South Africans turn away from each other the country splinters irreparably along lines of race and class. The fourth scenario is titled the Rise of the Rainbow. In this future the ruling party and the opposition will enter into a coalition and allow the private sector to take the lead in returning economic growth rates to levels upwards of 5% as unemployment rates fall, living standards increase, and South Africa emerges, against all the odds, as a free, open, stable, and prosperous society.

The book answers the question of which of the four it will be and what signs to look for in order to know how South Africa's next decade and a bit will unfold.

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The third book in the series is set for publication in 2020.