New research from Eunomix Business & Economics found that South Africa experienced one of the worst declines in the last 12 years for a non-war country.
The country's performance on a variety of social, economic, and governmental measures deteriorated more than any other country that was not involved in international or civil conflict.
The index of indicators of security, governance, prosperity and welfare showed that South Africa dropped to 88 out of 178 countries last year from 31 in 2006.
The advisory firm of Johannesburg said that the decline is expected to continue as far as South Africa is faced with the consequences of nine years of worsening corruption and paralysis policy under former President Jacob Zuma.
The fragility of the economy may also limit the appointment of his successor, Cyril Ramaposa, who is in front of his first national elections on May 8, Yunomix said.
"There is the strongest chance to become president in one term," The head of Onomix, Claude Bisak, was quoted as Bloomberg. "It starts with a very weak economy, the weakest of any president since Mandela, and it starts with a relatively weak hand politically."
Only countries that are in conflict, such as Mali, Ukraine and Venezuela, have been worse in the last decade than in South Africa, Yunomix said.
According to the think tank, the main reason for the nation's massive decline is the unbearable structure of the South African economy, where economic power is largely held by an elite with little political influence.
"Economic policy serves narrow interests, which produces insufficient and unfair growth," he said, "Populism, rather than developmentism, is a small temptation, when the economy is a war-draw between suspicious groups."
While Yeminix said that while Rampha spent his first 14 months in power committing to sanctions on corruption, ending policy uncertainty and reforming the losses of state-owned companies, his political weakness will delay progress.
"South Africa's performance peaked in 2007. That year, its economy and government were at its best, and since then the country has experienced a steady decline in all key performance indicators."
"The country's development project has failed: South Africa is now a fragile country, which is expected to continue to weaken" Said Yunomix.
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