South Africa could become a failed state, Senior ANC official warns


South Africa could become a “failed state” but has yet to reach that point, a senior official of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has said.

The admission by ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula comes as South Africa experiences power cuts, known as load-shedding, of up to 10 hours a day.

“This load-shedding has just made a mess of our country,” he told the BBC’s HARDtalk programme.

The power cuts have worsened South Africa’s economic crisis.


The country is also battling high levels of corruption, all of which has damaged confidence in the ANC government.

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“If certain things are not resolved, we will become a failed state, but we are not journeying towards that direction,” Mr Mbalula said in an exclusive interview with BBC HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur.

“South Africa is undergoing challenges like many other countries but I think to put it into the category of a failed state is an exaggeration,” he added.

While external forces such as global economics, the impact of Covid and the war in Ukraine had all played a role in battering South Africa’s economy, blame also lay partly with “some of our own weaknesses in terms of managing the economy well”, Mbalula acknowledged.