In this Dec. 15, 2018, photo, Vietnam's spectators cheer during the AFF Suzuki Cup final match between Vietnam and Malaysia at My Dinh stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)
OPINION - South Africa could learn from the Vietnam experience.

With the US, China and Russia fighting in Vietnam for different reasons in an all-out conflict involving the entire region, the outcome could have been similar in South Africa.

South Africa was already on the cusp of a civil war, with Nelson Mandela admitting that the ANC was being trained and financed by the communists.

Everyone agrees that apartheid was an abomination, but the outcome in South Africa could have been much worse than it was.

There could have been outright civil war, with the entire fabric of society being destroyed, and deaths and destruction of the country like in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In Vietnam alone there were between one and four million deaths (estimates differ).

From 1975 to around 1995 Vietnam implemented the communist ideal until they realised it was not lifting their people out of poverty, and turned towards capitalist ideas.

Since then the country has prospered, and continues to do so. Surrounding countries like Thailand are 20 years ahead of Vietnam because they embraced capitalism from the beginning, and have hotels and a booming tourism industry.

Vietnam has a population of more than 90 million in a relatively small country.

There is little crime, and it has a booming economy where manufacturers are producing many goods.

I feel South Africa could learn from Vietnam.

If we can leave the past in the past, maybe South Africa could do the same, focus on the future, and make the country safe, effective and competitive, like Vietnam.

In South Africa costs such as for accommodation, cars and the basic cost of living are still too high, and that means everyone has to make the change to make the country better.

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