Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, South Africa's main opposition party,addressed the challenges, along with the opportunities for South Africa during a briefing at the Legatum Institute this week.
He said first and foremost, the nation needs a leader who will deliver ethical governance through a truly independent parliament. He went on to say that the quality of education needs to improve and advocates for the expansion of charter schools which are currently being piloted.
"We need to become the nation that President Nelson Mandela helped us believe that we would become - a place of hope, prosperity, selfless leadership and mutual respect."
Maimane said South Africa should seize the opportunity presented by Brexit, concluding an early trade deal with the UK and also increasing trade with the rest of the Commonwealth.
South Africa could become the leader of the African continent, Maimane believes. Like Nigeria, he says it has the potential to become a player on the global stage, transforming the reputation of the continent and the life of its citizens.