The Rainbow Index
The Rainbow Index is an annual monitor of political and economic freedom in South Africa. It covers ten essential ‘pillars of democracy’. These are: Democratic Governance, Rule of Law, Individual Rights and Responsibilities, a Vigilant Media and Civil Society, Racial Goodwill, Good Citizenship, Liberation of the Poor, Effective Government, Scope for Free Enterprise, and Growth-Focused Policies. The Rainbow Index began by analysing and scoring South Africa’s performance on the ten ‘pillars of democracy’ from 1994 to 2009 in the book Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa's Move from Mandela to Zuma by Dr Anthea Jeffery.
The ruling party sees the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as lying in a national democratic revolution and new forms of social engineering. Liberals believe it lies in political and economic freedoms. The Institute's 'Rainbow Index' tracks developments in ten policy areas, covering both the political and economic dimensions. It analyses (and scores) the country's performance on each one.
The Government's performance has improved in only two areas( Good Citizenship and Liberation of the Poor) but the general trend is one of decline. The reason lies in the national democratic revolution (NDR) to which the ANC recommitted itself at Polokwane in December 2007.
President Jacob Zuma has failed to provide clear leadership, while his Cabinet remains divided and inept. Factionalism within the nationalist and communist elements within the ruling party is growing, further paralysing governance. The deployment of incompetent cadres persists, despite its illegality. Parliament remains weak and intolerant of opposition. Local government is in crisis, while corruption remains widespread. International monitors score South Africa’s performance on democratic governance highly, but in fact it rates no more than 45% in 2009/2010.