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Zuma makes South Africa one of the 10 biggest global risks in 2017


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By January 4, 2017

Zuma makes South Africa one of the 10 biggest global risks in 2017

Time Magazine has released a list of 10 of the biggest ‘geopolitical’ risks in the world in 2017 – including a Zuma-led South Africa, where the president is blocking any move forward for the country.

According to Time, the “deeply unpopular” Jacob Zuma is afraid to relinquish the power of the presidency to someone he does not trust, and in doing so, is blocking forward momentum toward much-needed economic reform, to pick South Africa up out of the doldrums.

This has a bigger impact than just in South Africa, Time said, as the failure to bring stability and growth to South Africa means the country is ill-equipped to stabilise and resolve any conflicts in neighbouring countries and further in Africa.

Zuma and his politics is set to be a key risk for South Africa in 2017, as the ANC faces a consultative, policy and elective conference during the course of the year, which will set up the future path for the party – and the country – in the years ahead.

It is widely known that the ANC itself is divided between those who seek change, and those who wish to maintain the status quo of the patronage government established by Zuma.

The pro-Zuma camp is said to be supporting AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the next leader of the ANC, while the anti-Zuma camp prefer deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Analysts have warned that South Africa’s economy faces a turbulent time as the politics of the ANC play out – and that any scenario where a Zuma-controlled leader is elected will be negative for the country’s economy.


South Africa is not alone in its political risks. According to Time, the number one geopolitical risk in the world in 2017 is an unpredictable America, as reality TV star Donald Trump prepares to take up the presidency.

Trump’s policies have been controversial and often unclear, which is likely to lead to surprises down the line.

Other global risks includes leadership change in China, a leadership vacuum in the UK, global economic troubles, and disruptive technology in high risk areas such as the Middle East.

You can read Time’s full list here.


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