Many in SA not hopeful in Hope Index

2012-08-13 12:30
Young people are not uniformly positive about their future in South Africa, a survey has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Young people are not uniformly positive about their future in South Africa, a survey has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A survey shows that South Africa could lose a generation to emigration 10 years into the future.

A Hope Index mobile survey of over 18 000 South Africans across demographic groups suggested that many young people do not have faith in the future of the country.

"On balance, respondents were optimistic about their future, with 54% feeling that South Africa would be a better place for them to live in ten years from now, while 46% felt it would be worse," said Pondering Panda, the company that commissioned the survey.

The Hope Index is conducted at regular intervals and results show that there is not much change in attitudes, with black South Africans the most optimistic, at whites least optimistic about their future.

"There were strong demographic differences in attitude. While 61% of young black respondents were optimistic, all other race groups were pessimistic on balance.  Only 27% of Asians, 34% of whites, and 44% of coloureds were optimistic about their future," said Pondering Panda.

Unemployment

Unemployment is a major concern for blacks, while other race groups are most concerned about crime, the Index found.

There were also differences in terms of age and gender. Younger people are more optimistic than the older generation, while 60% of men are more positive about their future in SA than women.

"There were also differences according to the age of respondents, with pessimism increasing with age. Teenagers under 18 years old were most optimistic, with 58% of those aged 15 to 17 believing that the future was positive.

"In contrast, only 46% of those aged 25 to 34 were positive," the company said.

Butch Rice of Pondering Panda said that while the results gave insight into the minds of young people, the trends were worrying for the long term prospects of the country.

"Even more concerning is that only young black South Africans are optimistic on balance. All other race groups are pessimistic. This would indicate that we face the possibility of many of our youth planning a future elsewhere, as they do not have faith in our country's future. This could have alarming implications for emigration rates in the future, as well as a potential brain drain," he said.

Statistics compiles by Statistics SA in 2003 showed that the UK was the leading destination for South Africans leaving the country, with 111 884 in 2003, followed by Australia with 52 997.

The statistics also showed a net loss of 9 529 economically active individuals.


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