Half of adults want Dalai Lama visit
Cape Town - Nearly half of urban adults believe that Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama should be allowed to visit South Africa, a new study has found.
About 47% of adults polled in metropolitan areas at the end of October and early November felt he should be allowed to visit the country.
A fifth (21%) disagreed, in a survey by marketing company TNS, released on Tuesday.
A third of metro adults gave a "don’t know" response.
"Amongst those giving an opinion, there is over a two-to-one majority in favour of the Dalai Lama coming to South Africa," said Neil Higgs, the head of innovation at TNS South Africa.
The study was done among 2 000 metro adults into attitudes to various social and political issues in late October and early November 2011.
The study has a margin of error of less than 2.5%.
"Unusually for such issues, there is much less... variation by race group than usual, with whites and Indians being the most in favour," Higgs said.
People in Johannesburg and East London were the most positive. In Pretoria, however, 30% felt he should not be allowed to come.
Across the different religious groupings, Muslims were the most positive with 60% approving of the visit, 56% of Hindus and 48% of Christians.
The most negative, at 37%, were those with no religion or who were atheist or agnostic.