What kept SA together so long was the fact that it was not a two tribe country like Rhodesia. There was no dominant tribe like the Shona. The real disaster of Zuma was that until his rise to power the Zulu, the larges tribe, tended to keep the ANC at arms length. Which is why Natal tended to be the least worst governed province outside Cape Province. Until Zuma cam along. Outside some big urban islands both the Transvaal and Orange Free State had started slipping away long ago due to the utter corruption and ineptitude of the ANC. Which is why pretty much all industry and business not physicality connects to the Jo’burg area has moved to Cape Province in the last 10 / 15 years.
The one interesting political change has been the rise of the black middle class DA vote in the ANC heartland. The ANC essential lost Johannesburg last time around. As the black poor voted EFF and the black middle class voted DA. Its that loss of voters that is driving so much of the current ANC power struggle.
The other thing is the catastrophic mismanagement the SA economy by the ANC. Because of ANC corruption South Africa missed the single biggest mining boom in history. If the ANC had even been able to keep economic growth rates at pre 1994 level’s the average South African would by now have an income at least double what they currently have. They would be at low end Eastern European income levels. Instead its basically greater Lagos region income levels with what is left of far better infrastructure. Which they inherited from the previous regime.
By the time this is over I expect SA to have dissolved to it pre Union configuration. With Cape Provence being fairly functional. Natal maybe. And all the rest going the full Zimbabwe. I fear Johannesburg will go the full Algeria before this is over.
For some reason I was thinking of some video I saw of Ian Smith as an old man in his 80’s tending his garden in a suburb of Salisbury. Just him and his gardener. Not needing any security or protection. As by this stage Mugabe had totally collapsed the economy and parts of the country were already in famine. Because most of his fellow countrymen by now had realized that the “cure” was far far worse than the “disease” ever was.