Class inequality the most divisive in SA – survey

2013-12-04 15:37

Class inequality has become the greatest impediment to national reconciliation, a barometer survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) has found.

“It [the report] lists six overarching social issues, of which class was most commonly identified as the most divisive (27.9%), with race dropping to fourth place (14.6%),” it said in a statement today.

The SA Reconciliation Barometer survey proposed a renewed concept of “radical reconciliation” to highlight the link between the need for material transformation in conjunction with psychological bridge-building.

“As South Africa moves into its 20th year of democracy and prepares for its fifth national election, the report focuses on current issues of social, political and economic exclusion,” the IJR said. The survey indicated that this year, citizens felt less trusting of national leaders.

Results showed a 10.8% decrease in citizens’ confidence in national government since last year. There had been a 13% increase in the proportion of citizens who believed the government did not care about “people like them”.

The survey found that ordinary citizens showed the highest confidence in religious institutions (67%) and the public protector (64.4%), and the lowest confidence in political parties (45.2%) and the police (47.9%).

The SA reconciliation Barometer survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews in all nine provinces, using a questionnaire developed by the IJR that included around 100 survey items.

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