South Africa’s most serious problems

A new report by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) reveals the opinions of South Africans when it comes to the problems that have not yet been resolved since 1994.

In 2015, IRR commissioned a national opinion survey of public attitudes to race, empowerment, and other policy issues entitled Race: What South Africans really think.

The survey canvassed the views of a balanced sample of 2,245 people from all nine provinces.

It covered both rural and urban areas and all socio-economic strata. Of the respondents, 78.3% were black, 9% were coloured, 2.8% were Indian, and 9.9% were white.

The poll asked South Africans to identify what they themselves saw as the two most serious problems not yet resolved since 1994.

The top two issues identified were unemployment and crime. In total, 46.5% of South Africans saw unemployment as the most pressing problem, while 28.8% cited crime.

The table below lists only those issues cited by at least 5% of respondents. Racism was cited by just 4.4% of respondents.

Most serious unresolved problems Total Black Coloured Asian White
Unemployment 55.9% 58.6% 57.1% 43.7% 37.9%
Crime 28.8% 26.0% 33.4% 51.7% 39.8%
Housing 19.7% 20.8% 21.0% 11.2% 12.5%
Service delivery poor or slow 14.7% 16.2% 11.2% 10.7% 7.5%
State corruption/incompetence/nepotism 14.0% 11.4% 16.9% 12.1% 32.2%
Education/teachers/fees/overcrowding 10.1% 9.8% 10.2% 13.3% 11.9%
Water supply 8.1% 10.0% 1.3% 3.7% 0.8%
Roads 5.0% 5.9% 0.9% 1.9% 2.7%

The responses were not prompted and that respondents were free to list any issue that was important to them.

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South Africa’s most serious problems