Here in South Africa, we have a bit of a refugee problem. And an infrastructure problem. Mainly: we’re dealing with population growth patterns that no colonial government ever had to deal with.

And yes, that is a small dig at all the naysayers. It’s easy to criticise. But consider that, in terms of infrastructure, the apartheid government dedicated most of its resources to the minority white population. Since it came to power, the ANC government has had to water and electrify the rest of South Africa, as well as cater for the extra 17 million people that have arrived in the two decades since.

That’s an extraordinarily tall order. So yes, mistakes may have been made.

But context. And at least we haven’t gone feral yet.

Anyway – this pales in comparison to the proportional influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, Jordan and the other surrounding countries over the last three years.

Here is an infographic:

syria refugee crisis


And here is another:

how many people do you share a toilet with


Take Lebanon.

Imagine an extra 1.1 million people flooding into a country that is half the size of Gauteng.

Half the size. Of Gauteng. In three years.


So, South Africa – it could be worse?

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at