South Africa serves as “the road less travelled” for Australia, according to author and commentator Dr Jamie Miller.
Dr Miller reasoned this was due to the dominant institutions in South Africa having been formed at the same time as Australia’s, “more or less out of the same intellectual ingredients”.
However, he said, the trajectories of the two countries “diverged dramatically”.
“And the lesson for us here in Australia is that wasn’t due to merit or some brilliance or leadership, or some Australian genius – it was actually just due to demography,” Dr Miller told Sky News Australia.
“I think it’s really important for us to understand if the demographics in Australia had been different, if the ratio of white people to non-white people in Australia had been similar to what it is in South Africa, we probably would have ended up in a pretty similar space.”