10 things worrying South Africans right now

Crime, a lack of employment opportunities, and corruption are the three top problems facing South Africa, according to South Africans.

In a new Pew Research Center survey, South Africans said that education should be the most important priority (29%), followed by energy (18%), and government effectiveness (17%).

Pew Research Center conducted a survey in nine sub-Saharan African nations (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda) among 9,062 respondents from March 25 to May 21, 2015.

10 problems in South Africa

# Problem %
1 Crime 79
1 Lack of employment opportunity 79
3 Government corruption 78
4 Energy shortages 72
5 Poor quality schools 61
6 Poor healthcare 57
7 Poor infrastructure 57
8 Food shortages 56
9 Lack of clean drinking water 55
9 Pollution 55

When asked whether they would rather have higher taxes, so the government can provide more services, or lower taxes, even if that means fewer services, 30% of respondents said they would want lower taxes, versus 47% of respondents who want higher taxes.

Worryingly, South Africans are more confident that domestic companies will help solve the major problems in the country, than government, albeit marginally.

69% of those surveyed in South Africa are confident that domestic companies will save the country, versus 68% for the national government.

However, across the eight nations where the question was asked, a median of 78% are very or somewhat confident that their national government will help address the major problems facing the country.

In South Africa, views about government differ along racial lines. Three-in-four blacks have confidence in the national government, compared with just 44% of people who are mixed-race and 43% of whites.

A majority of Ethiopians, Senegalese, South Africans and Nigerians say their economy is doing well. Tanzanians and Kenyans, however, are divided over current economic conditions. And more than half in Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso are unhappy with the economy.

In South Africa 38% said that the current economic situation is bad, against 59% who said it is good.

Nearly half (45%) are optimistic that the economic situation will improve over the next 12 months.

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