Apart from the shameful apartheid, in what areas did apartheid-era South Africa excel at?


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Observer | South Africa produced and excelled in many things during Apartheid era. SA was a world leader in mining… gold, platinum, uranium, diamonds and coal especially… and in many other minerals as well.

SA farming was excellent and a big exporter of produce to the world. SA wine industry was world-famous. SA tourism was renowned. Finest scenery and wildlife with the finest hotels and guest lodges. SA had finest wild reserves in the world. Kruger Park being one of the largest, best maintained and serviced in the world and one visited by the most foreigners.

SAA was one of the finest airlines in the world and won many international awards. SA had one of the best/purest drinking tap drinking water in the world. SA was one of the leading medical research nations in the world and where the first human heart transplant was performed. Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human to human heart transplant, placing Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, on the international map.

SA had one of the finest virology research and production facilities in the world for the development of serums for anti-virus, anti-toxin and poisons. SA had some of the finest astronomy observatories in the world.

SA’s energy supply via coal power stations was deemed to be the most efficient in the world. Escom, believe it or not, based on a 10-year track record (from 1991 to 2001), the utility was named power company of the year at the Financial Times Global Energy Awards in New York. All of its 78 production units were considered to be in good working condition. In 2019… not one is efficient and all deteriorating and/or dysfunctional.

SA’s SASOL was a leader in development of liquid fuel (for motorcars) from coal. SA was the most productive and strongest economy on the continent of Africa. SA industry, employment, healthcare, education and life expectancy was the best on the continent of Africa.

SA excelled in most sports especially rugby (World Champs), in cricket, swimming and golf. Due to worldwide sanctions and embargoes against SA, SA industry had to produce and develop its own products. SA produced first adhesive and patch repair to ceramics, metals and plastic… known as Prattley Putty for use in non-gravity space. In fact this was provided on the first Moon Landing.

SA produced the first efficient pool cleaner… known as Kreepy Krawly. SA developed its own nuclear weapons capability during world sanctions and isolation. In fact the armament industry produced many sophisticated weapons… the G5 and G6 at the time was far superior to most other artillery pieces at the time.

The SADF army was the most powerful on the continent of Africa. These are just some of the things and aspects I can think of. Almost all of the above has slipped into mediocrity and dysfunctionality since 1994.

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