3 things which are currently uniting all South Africans

The Centre for Communication and Reputation Management at the University of Pretoria have released a report on the views of ordinary citizens around corruption and state capture.

The research delved into understanding how citizens define themselves within the broader context of the population, their views on what the most pressing issues within Government are and the extent to which they perceive corruption and state capture to be prevalent in South Africa.

It also aimed to assess satisfaction with political performance; South African voting patterns and tendencies; and to gain a scientifically-verified understanding of how the majority of South Africans believe corruption and state capture will affect the future of the country.

The results after four months of qualitative and quantitative research represent the voice of 37 million South Africans aged 18 years plus with 80% of the sample focusing on the poorer communities within the country.

“The focus group discussions gave ordinary South Africans a safe platform to share and discuss their experiences of government, corruption, state capture and political party performance,” said Dr Melani Prinsloo from Infusion Knowledge Hub, who managed and executed the qualitative research.

“In doing so, South Africans provided an ethical framework to consider corruption and state capture. In addition, a set of key indicators on an ideal government, drivers of corruption/state capture and the impact of corruption/state capture were produced. These formed the basis for the quantitative study,” she said.

The national psyche that binds citizens together

The data indicates that the national psyche that ties citizens together irrespective of background or differences is:

  • their willingness to fight against corruption (51%);
  • their desire to see employment created for all (46%);
  • their dedication to fight against poverty (43%);

In addition to the majority of South Africans confirming that they are willing to fight against corruption and racism, state capture and xenophobia, the overwhelming majority say corruption will undeniably impact their voting behaviour.

The survey clearly shows that South Africans will unite for the following reasons:

  • 84% are Proudly South African
  • 63% feel that living conditions improved after the apartheid regime
  • 61% are confident that we will have a happy future for all races in South Africa
  • 56% are confident in a happy future for all immigrants and SA citizens to work side by side
  • 54% are confident for a happy future for all immigrants in SA
  • 62% think good progress has been made to transform sport; 55% for business and 51% in the workplace
  • But, 77% think their country is currently going in the wrong direction.

Voicing displeasure

It was clear from the qualitative results that citizens used the focus groups as a platform to voice their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in the country.

The discussion themes and language in the focus groups informed the quantitative questionnaire, which ranged from the current mood of the nation, voting patterns, satisfaction with government, corruption, state capture and hope for the future.

Study highlights include:

  • Two thirds of respondents feel that living conditions improved after the end of apartheid;
  • Most respondents are confident that there is a happy future in store for all races in South Africa;
  • More than half of the cohort are confident of a happy future for all immigrants and SA citizens, working side by side;
  • 62% think good progress has been made to transform sport; 55% for business and 51% in the workplace;
  • But, 77% think their country is currently going in the wrong direction.
  • Significantly, poor satisfaction levels were reported with government – from the highest office in the country to ward level – While magistrates and judges rated best for doing their jobs well.
  • Leaders are regarded as failing to adhere to the people’s preferred value system of being trustworthy, honest, listening to the people and competent to name few important requirements of citizens.
  • The majority of citizens have heard of corruption and 68% of citizens think state capture happens in South Africa.

The findings showed that a significant minority of South Africans will continue to follow political leaders, even when the leaders are not doing their jobs very well.

From the highest office in the country up to ward level, poor satisfaction levels were reported, with the magistrates and judges in the country rated the best at doing their jobs well. Leadership are failing on the people’s required value system of being trustworthy, honest, listening to the people and competence to name some of the value metrics evaluated and preferred by citizens.

“Government is not expected to be perfect but the performance gap on issues such as house/land ownership, fighting corruption, creating employment and providing basic services to citizens is still significant,” said the report.

“The fight against corruption remains a top priority for citizens and they expect government to listen to their needs and wants.”


Read: South Africa GDP rises 2% in the third quarter

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3 things which are currently uniting all South Africans