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82% of South Africans believe the country is going in the wrong direction – survey

Oct 19 2019 07:00
Carin Smith

Research indicates that 82% of South Africans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, trend spotter and "futurologist" Magnus Lindkvist said on Friday.

An Ipsos What Worries the World survey in 28 countries, released earlier this year, found South Africa to be the country where the highest percentage of respondents indicated they believe their country is moving in the wrong direction, namely 82%.

In the UK the percentage of respondents believing their country is going in the wrong direction was 79% and in France it was 80%.

On the other hand, 91% of Chinese surveyed said they believe their country is moving in the right direction.

Culprits: Trump, digitisation

"The future has not evolved the way we thought it would. One could even say it has 'devolved'. There seems to be a feeling of unease and gloom in the world. I call it a 'liquid fear'.

"Most people I speak to as I travel all over the world seem to ascribe it to the disruption caused by digitisation and by the actions of US President Donald Trump," Lindkvist told delegates at the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) annual conference in Cape Town.

He said a survey about the impact of artificial intelligence found that the two jobs least likely to be taken over by machines will be that of dentists and of priests.

Yet, for him the most important shift from the past is that there are now many more opportunities available.

"There is a dawning of a new age where people are moving away from a 'me' and 'my patents' attitude to what I call 'wedeas' – 'we ideas', in other words ideas which people have reached in collaboration," he said.

"If you want to make money in retail, you would have to show some courage while everyone else is afraid of the future. Being a leader is doing the things others cannot or will not do because they are too afraid."

sa economy  |  retail  |  consumers  |  tech
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