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South Africans fed up with their prospects and democracy

Ml Muhammad Bham |
23 May 2023 | 11:00 CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

It is no secret that South Africans are fed up with their prospects, and the latest annual social attitudes survey by Human Sciences Research Council supports their views.

The South African Social Attitudes Survey has been running for 20 years and nationally represents South Africans aged 16 and older.

The survey is represented by age group and is designed to chart South Africans’ changing values, beliefs and behaviours over time.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Human Sciences Research Council’s Ben Roberts said the latest survey reflected disturbing new trends.

In recent years concern has emerged from the public about the functioning of democracy and the performance of key political institutions.

The hardening of these attitudes and a sense of increasing fatalism and hopelessness from South Africans have come to the fore in the last year. For the first time this year, the survey has observed more pessimism than optimism for a nation that usually has a very optimistic outlook.

Another observation was that South African democracy had collapsed dramatically to meagre numbers, from over 60% in 2010 to just over 25% in 2021/2022. In KwaZulu-Natal, less than 10% are satisfied with democracy.

Various factors play an essential part in the pessimistic outlook on the country, like the performance of governance on the unprofessional essential services, which means there are extreme views on quite a few of the services like water, sanitation, and electricity.

The tackling of crime and corruption is a crucial factor, as well as job creation and the provision of grants.

Grants that were the most positively evaluated government service are also declining.

Public views are hardening on the performance evaluation front, and public trust in institutions is at an all-time low.

The combination of all these factors is putting a dent in South Africans’ faith in the performance of democracy at large.

Listen to the full interview on Sabahul Muslim with Sulaimaan Ravat here


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