BY J.J. MESSNER
Over the past decade, the Rainbow Nation has also traversed much of the color spectrum on the Fragile States Index (FSI) map. Though our color palette is simply representative of a country’s score – green to blue for the most stable, yellow to deep red for the most fragile – the changing colors of South Africa on that map during the past decade has served as a stark visual demonstration of the country’s rapid decline. From the bright green of (relative) Stability in 2007 through to the yellow-orange of the Warning category in 2017 – as the country faces social, economic, and political turmoil.
It is important to contextualize just how far South Africa has declined over the past decade. In 2007, the FSI ranked South Africa at 132nd on a score of 57.4; in 2017, South Africa has rocketed up the rankings to 96th position, on a score of 72.3. Of all 178 countries that FSI assesses, South Africa is the sixth most worsened country over the past decade. To be even clearer, with the exception of Senegal, South Africa is the most worsened country not in active conflict or civil war.