• IS provokes sea-change

    It has been a grave mistake to defy both Russia and France, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Nene's SAA nemesis

    No political figure seems to have the guts to speak out against Dudu Myeni, says Solly Moeng.

  • The mp3 revolution

    Ian Mann takes a look at the war between digital music and the compact disc.

All data is delayed
See More

Income inequality divides SA - survey

May 23 2012 22:00

Durban - Economic liberation or the lack thereof is the most divisive issue in the country, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

According to the SA Reconciliation Barometer 2011, income inequality keeps South Africans more divided than race.

About 32% of those surveyed believed it was the most divisive issue, compared to 20% who believed race divided the country.

Researchers polled 3 500 people for survey, which was conducted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

About 22% believed political party affiliations were more divisive than race.

In another set of questions, 38% of the people questioned admitted that they would never reveal their true thoughts about race to people of different race groups. About 33% said they would never do so in a public place, like school or at work.

The study found that faith in local government was at its lowest since the annual survey was started in 2003.

Only 43% of those surveyed said they had any confidence in the country's municipalities. In 2006 this was 50%.

Confidence in the presidency, Parliament, and the national and provincial governments all remained above 50%.

The survey concluded that South Africa was a divided country, but that there was scope for hope.

About 66% of those questioned believed that creating a united country was desirable and 60% believed it was possible.

About 70% agreed that they wanted to forget about the past and move on with their lives.

Across the four major race groups, this sentiment appeared to be consistent, with 75% of whites and 68% of blacks, 74% of coloureds and 85% of Indians wanting to forget about the past.

The researchers said racism and prejudice had declined.

"[There is] infinitely more interaction, as equals, between black and white South Africans."

Some 57% of South Africans interacted with people of other races -- up from a low of 41% in 2004.

A further 47% believed that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings had helped to bring about reconciliation.

The survey found that interaction and socialising between the races was greatest in the higher income groups and lowest in the lower income groups.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they socialised with people from other race groups outside the work environment, such as their own homes or the homes of friends.

In contrast, 17% rarely socialised across race lines, and 42% never did.

There was a two percent margin of error in the survey, said Kate Lefko-Everett, who compiled the 2011 report.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote