Income inequality divides SA - survey

Income inequality divides SA - survey

2012-05-23 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.

  • Diegozaf - 2012-05-23 23:03

    With a sample of 3500 individuals, this 'survey' is hardly representative of anything. It represents no more than an opinion poll.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-23 23:34

      A sample of 3500 is pretty representative with a reported 2% margin of error. Nothing wrong with the survey.

      Oneant - 2012-05-23 23:50

      Problem is not the sample, its the conclusion. EDUCATION INEQUALITY... is it that hard people? Really? Or is it because most of you go do as little as possible at work everyday that where you are in life is not a product of what you know? I wish we lived in a world where education had preference over military, health or civil servant expenditure.

  • Taetjo - 2012-05-24 01:05

    BEE (Boere Economic Empowerement) and BEE (Black Economic Empowerment)... Set the economy free. Let the weak perish and those that want to work and survive in this economy do so. Let the markets decide for themselves who and what they want to do business with. Maximal government interference is not a good thing for economic growth. This crony capitalism economy of ours is not too sustainable, parts of it rather! The poverty rate is growing at a much faster rate than wealth in the majority of the population. I do not have the numbers to back my claim but I think that basing it on what I am seeing, poverty is on a steep increase. I pray for South Africa!

      Allan - 2012-05-24 08:26

      You 100% correct!! Any law to protect one party over another will lead to their demise. Let the market rule

  • Sharon - 2012-05-24 06:30

    Income inequiality divides many countries and will do so far into the future, but many countries still don't have the crime and corruption levels that we in SA experience! It's not about poor and rich, its about morals, integrity, respect which is something that should be taught by parents. Sadly today we lack even this in a lot of homes.

  • gert.grobler.94 - 2012-05-24 07:04

    Yes this inequality of the super rich anc top section compared to the poor down below is disgusting. They, the ruling elite, should be mere servants of the nation and they should get salaries like normal managers do. They get far above the middle class and they are dividing the nation. If they wanted more they should have taken up jobs in the private sector. Now they have grabbed the public sector positions and they vote themselves enormous increases and benefits. But one can see where this topic is going--they are paving the way for their communist system and controlling salaries in the private sector. They are already telling the lawyers that their fees will be cut and controlled by the anc. The salaries of the anc government officials should be cut and controlled by the public.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-05-24 07:06

    In South Africa this inequality is so politicized so as to blame the industrious people who have earned their place on the ladder. We are not the only country in the world where this situation exists and I would dare to say it is most likely the case in 60-70% of countries.

  • marumobongani - 2012-05-24 07:11

    news24 you always got something to stick on our backside and not all of us enjoy it race this race that why?why today?why now? most people moved on the others will take it to grave

  • francis.braden - 2012-05-24 08:40

    Lets talk numbers. Five million whites value education and maintain their population at around five million. So, higher education equates to better paying jobs, family business's, and entrepreneurs take on these "higher educated" people to run business and then the income earned is shared between a fairly stagnant population. So, whites appear to be quite wealthy! Compare this to the majority of blacks (generalization here): Lower education is OK, lowers skills equates to lower paying jobs! To make matters worse, the low incomes earned have to be spread across an increasing population base - meaning less wealth and worsening poverty! To me it seems that the our black brothers are their own worst enemy! What a bloody shame!

      Erkkie Quasha Quest - 2012-05-24 11:17

      There's truth in your analysis.

  • panafriconman - 2012-05-24 11:28

    Really encouraging to see the optimist about building a united country and forgetting about the past. This should make politicians think about their tendency to rally support based on "us and them" manipulation of voters' emotions. In its current form the ANC could become a party of the rural-poor over time - like ZANU PF did.

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