A country ravaged by years of war and considered to be one of the poorest in the world, ranks 50 out of 82 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) social mobility index. Vietnam in Southeast Asia, with a population of almost 95-million, far outranks SA (77th), which has battled the ravages of apartheid, but escaped a civil war when it made a peaceful transition to democracy in 1994.

The index identifies areas for improving social mobility and promoting equally shared opportunities in countries, regardless of their development. This is measured through access to health care, education, work opportunities and technology. Vietnam has been able to make a remarkable recovery, while SA with all the resources to become an African powerhouse, has fallen far behind...

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