What South Africans really think about government

A new survey published in the Sunday Times finds that a great majority (78.7%) of South Africans believe that “the people in government are incompetent and corrupt and are indeed to blame for the poor state of the economy”.

The report, published Good Governance Africa as part of a body of work on public perceptions of the government titled: “What the People Really Think”, found that more than half (56.2%) of respondents agreed that “people are giving up hope that the government will listen to them”.

Eight out of 10 respondents see the government to be incompetent and corrupt, and to blame for the poor economy, the authors of the report said.

Only 12.4% of the respondents agreed that “the people in government are generally competent and not corrupt”. Other factors have caused the economy to falter.”

As many as 78.7% said that poor governance was responsible for the state of the economy.

Broken down by race, 76.8% of black, 84.9% of coloured, 85.3% of white and 89.8% of Asian respondents agreed with the statement that the poor state of the economy  was due to incompetence and corruption in government.

Additional findings

All respondents were asked to rate the government’s performance on key indicators.

  • Employment: 12.2% were positive, 70.1% negative and 16.4% neutral;
  • Pensions: 50.5% positive, 30.5% negative, 15.8% neutral;
  • Social grants: 61.2% positive, 21.6% negative, 14.5% neutral;
  • Education: 36.1% positive, 43.6% negative, 18.7% neutral;
  • Health: 31.4% positive, 45.9% negative, 21.4% neutral;
  • Law and order: 16.5% positive; 56.7% negative; 24% neutral; and
  • Equality for women: 33.7% positive, 31.7% negative, 31.1% neutral.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 2,245 respondents

The full report is in the Sunday Times of 21 February 2016.

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What South Africans really think about government