Money: SA’s great divide

2012-07-08 19:45

Johannesburg - South Africans of Indian and Asian origin reach out more to other racial groups than blacks and whites do.

This is revealed in the Youth Context Study, a part of the Status of Youth Report that President Jacob Zuma is expected to release soon.

The chapter on social cohesion in the study – which is a project of the National Youth Development Agency – was compiled using data from several local studies.

Government last week hosted a social cohesion summit in Soweto in an attempt to ease tensions in a country haunted by its apartheid past.

The Status of Youth Report found that about 50% of Asians and Indians always socialised with other races, compared with almost 39% of whites and only 13% of blacks.

This was prevalent in all age groups between 16 and 54, and only lower in citizens over the age of 55 – here, whites and coloureds scored highest.

Researchers from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) reveal that even young people struggle to relate to other race groups.


While young people are widely expected to find it easy to enjoy better relations with other races because they have been brought up in a democracy, their study found this was not the case.

“For the many young people who are stuck with low-quality education – many of whom come from poor backgrounds – it will remain difficult to integrate fully into society and realise their potential,” said Duncan Scott, a researcher in the HSRC’s human and social development unit.

“The same can be said for youth growing up in high-risk environments evidence suggests that young people who are victims of crime are more likely themselves to commit a crime in the future,” Scott said.

He said high-risk environments included problematic families or dangerous neighbourhoods.

Cross-group socialisation is higher in metropolitan areas compared with townships and rural villages.

“This may partly explain the situation where black South Africans, proportionately the poorest group in the country, appear to interact least with other population groups,” the study said.

“This is a question of a lack of social mobility among a group determining, in part, the supply side of group interaction.”

Black people were willing to share with their fellow white citizens, but the tension between the two groups was “opportunity driven” and not “resistance driven”, according to the study.

Economic inequalities

But a range of studies discussed at the social cohesion summit this week revealed the biggest stumbling block to building a united South Africa: economic inequalities.

A government study, part of its national strategy for developing an “inclusive and cohesive South African society”, reported that unemployed black people made up 85.7% of the country’s jobless population.

The summit declared “slow economic growth and transformation results in widespread unemployment, poverty, inequality and exclusion based on race, age and gender”.

Scott agreed: “This is to a certain extent exacerbated by low-quality schooling in primary and lower-secondary levels, which is leaving young people without adequate skills to enter the labour market.”

Scott said it might be “unrealistic” to expect total social cohesion within 20 years of becoming a democracy, but increased participation in education and shared living spaces show positive progress.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, whose department is leading nation-building projects, said the socio-economic conditions of poor people still needed attention.

Crime and poor security were also found to hinder social cohesion.

Fear and distrust

Government’s study found “unsafe communities create fear and distrust among citizens".

"It hinders free and open social interaction as people retreat and hide behind high walls and security gates.”

Mashatile said government wanted national flags in schools and government departments to promote unity through appreciating national symbols.

More social cohesion and nation-building summits will be convened at provincial, local and community levels in the next 12 months.

» Additional reporting by Carien du Plessis

  • Lindelwa - 2012-07-08 13:57

    Start by sorting out the mess in the educational system b4 u give priority to hosting flags at school. U can't A4d 2 have flags 4 schools when u don't have textbooks 6 months into the year. GET YOUR PRIORITIES RITE anc!!

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-09 10:33

      Hmmmmm. Even English & Afrikaner Whites dont socialise with each other that much, although more so now days, then a few years back. With an unashamedly anti white govt in power, do they really expect race relations to improve on the social front ?

  • Hermann - 2012-07-08 20:23

    I guess the whites will be blamed for this "The Status of Youth Report found that about 50% of Asians and Indians always socialised with other races, compared with almost 39% of whites and only 13% of blacks."

  • susan.varkey.9 - 2012-07-08 20:33

    I think its fairly obvious that minorities mingle with other races more than the majority.

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-07-08 20:38

    A sad story.85 % of unemployed people are black. Political freedom without economic freedom is like a car without an engine

      pws69 - 2012-07-08 20:53

      YOUNG black people. 53% of 18 to 24 year olds have NEVER had a job. Think of the effects as they get older. They become more unemployable. The pool of taxpayers stagnates. while the people requiring support grows, meaning less money available for more people. You can see where it is heading. If it is a crisis now, it will be a catastrophe in 15 years. It also takes time to correct. We need to act NOW.

      BulletProof. - 2012-07-08 21:01

      The problem is that there is people that empower them selfs and there is other people that are always waiting for somebody to empower them.

      Michael - 2012-07-08 21:21

      no its more like having a car and not being able to use it.

      cliff.slabbert - 2012-07-08 21:29

      Zolisa,every time the government's goons open their mouths they chase foreign investment away! Talk to them or vote for someone else.

      Allan - 2012-07-09 08:43

      It stands to reason as 85% of South Africans are black.

      bernpm - 2012-07-09 11:23

      apart from calling it a "sad story", what are YOU going to DO about it?....or suggest to do about it??

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-08 20:40

    What's money got to do with it? Honestly after reading the article I think the headline should be, Race: SA's great divide.

  • pws69 - 2012-07-08 20:45

    unemployed black people made up 85.7% of the country’s jobless population. This is scary. We need radical policy changes. We need a massive focus on education and business development. Unfortunately neither are ANC policy or focus areas. We need a new government that CAN deliver the above.

      cj.venter - 2012-07-09 10:51

      i think their slogan is "We Deliver" hehe.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-08 20:50

    yup, money has divided sa into those who don't have it, those who work hard for it and those who steal it from the second group. Thank you for voting anc.

  • Johan Vermaak - 2012-07-08 21:04

    85% of unemployed = black 85% of population = black Am I missing something, or is unemployment equal among all races now? #Education is key!

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-07-08 21:05

    18 years into democracy and yet Apartheid blamed! Yes it was a disgrace, but if the leadership was qualitative focused instead of quantitive it would have been better. These surveys bother me. Where was this done, who was the target group, was it representative of all the spheres of society? I was never asked for opinions in 18 years. Please stop blaming the past and work for the future. Ruling party - GOYA! Get Off Your Ass and start delivering on promises. A better life for all? I don't think so.

      junebugg.kinte - 2012-07-08 21:11

      Unfortunately something that was implemented over 52 years cant be rectified in 18 years...Most of the problems we have are because of apartheid and it wont take 20 or 30 years to rectify it, its gna take years...But yes we need to move forward and find solution, fight corruption and crime, focus on education...

      pws69 - 2012-07-08 21:17

      It took Estonia 5 years to turn their country around after communism fell. It took Japan and Germany 15 years to turn their countries around after a devastating war. We started off with much more going for us, and much better infrastructure in 1994. My point is that it CAN be done, with the right leadership.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-07-08 21:17

      Why can it not be rectified in 18 years? Please tell.

      NickMariniSA - 2012-07-09 10:49

      @Junebugg.kinte you might want to check your facts, Germany's economy was controlled by the government in very certain ways which lead them to war, or do you think the private sector woke up and decided an army was a great way to earn a profit? Also Estonia, whilst communist, the economy was run by the government... Further, please read the definition of communism, hopefully you will then understand why every "state" run country collapses, communism does not inspire business. The government needs to relax the labour laws, focus on health, housing and education and leave the private sector alone. Oh, one last point, wasn't the economy run by the government during apartheid? Governments running economies are a bad idea... U.S.S.R. is your biggest example there...

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-07-09 21:48

      @junebugg.kinte. You should take remedial classes in math & history.

  • neville.lollan.75 - 2012-07-08 21:10

    Mr Mmanaledi please do some journalistic investigation before you open your mouth and put pen to paper It is the Muslim and Arabic communities in Souh Africa that are reaching out to the poor and I dread to think who you cluster under Asian groups

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-07-08 21:19

    Same old story, the pre election race card being used to incite hatred and and malevolence towards a minority group. Where do these statistics come from and who verified them???

  • marcusvandermerwe - 2012-07-08 21:34

    Pointless research. To achieve what? Remind us of our differences. Maybe if the ANCYL stopped sowing divisions (white is rascist thieves), we would not even discuss this matter. Maybe they should find out how many politicians reaches out to the poor.

  • luvo.duba - 2012-07-08 21:41

    NB:the word \Black\ in SA means Non-white ie either Africa,Asian,Colored etc.just a reminder.

      pws69 - 2012-07-08 21:49

      And Chinese :-) Just saying

      Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-07-08 21:53

      Not any more!

  • amanda - 2012-07-08 21:51

    It starts by blaming the whites - then the next target group will be asians followed by coloureds. There will never be an end to the blame game according to the ANC. The minority groups are doomed.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-07-08 22:11

    Yep it's official..apartheid is back!! Only 13% of blacks interact with other ethnic groups..whites 39% !! The pot calling the kettle black !! Who is the racist here? NOW you dumb sh*ts..blame it on apartheid racism colonialism and imperialist propaganda BUT don't blame BLACKS !!

  • Alan Spyker - 2012-07-08 23:21

    Why not get rid of all the whites, so there is no on else to blame and there will be 99%unemployment

  • Tommo - 2012-07-09 00:19

    Is there a difference between unemployed and unemployable?

  • Trotse Boer - 2012-07-09 00:34

    @junebug, Germany had sanctions put on after the war and other countries dictated many aspects of the economy, yet now they are very strong. 18 years is a long time to get over an apartheid system that was only in place for short period of time. scotland and ireland have always been divided internally yet they have come far since the IRA? so IMO you are all looking for an excuse to blame someone for the ANC cockups

  • samuel.mphela - 2012-07-09 01:11

    This conclusion made from these findings is rather flawed. How are we black supposed to interact with other races when we are piling-up in the townships? There are far too many more important things to worry about than who I interact with.

  • Sibusiso - 2012-07-09 05:20

    Some people in news24 make me sick, we are facing a serious problem that can lead to a civil war and what people are promoting on this forum is *us against them*. Can u all think beyond your skin pigmentation?!!!!

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 09:09

      Sorry Sibusiso but if "people in news24" would do just 1% of the damage that your ANC has done to SA, I'd be highly surprised. Publicizing this ANC government sponsored survey itself is divisive. Or do you fail to see this? And it's the ANC that has lead to the whites feeling marginalised. By the ANC's policies, by it's legislation and by its rhetoric, the ANC is clearly hostile to whites, and the very cause for SA's racial division. Can't you see that? Of course one major reason for this hostility is that we are different, we tend to think critically for ourselves. So if we notice the mega-billion ANC corruption, we harshly condemn this. And of course, the ANC does like to be opposed in its kleptocratic misrule. So they scoff at us, shout "apartheid" and "racists" and put us in a bad light. Can't you see that?

  • wim727 - 2012-07-09 07:01

    I really enjoy reading these comments. I have empathy with unemployed people, who had sub standard education. How do you dig yourself out of the hole?... Education, There is a question mark over some peoples work ethic though. We don't need further politically driven racial divide and hatred. We are a stunning diversified country that needs strong leadership with a plan.

  • Hle Phewa - 2012-07-09 07:24

    @Sbusiso n Gregory atlast some ppl wit sense thank u guys mayb now they will listen n stop ths racial thing

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-09 08:31

    Education, Education, Education, Education,Education, Education, Education, Education,Education, Education, Education, Education,Education, Education, Education, Education .....its not rocket science, ANC get it into your thick sculls, that this is what makes the difference between having a foundation to build an economy & not having one, like your policies have resulted in.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 08:55

    So who lead this survey -not an Indian, was it? Just another ANC-lead drive to put whites in a bad light. They know that they have milked them all but dry and that they are gatvol of paying taxes for nothing in return. So now they start a full blown psychological offensive, with their "cohesion" crap* and now trying to induce a guilt-trip. All to quell the growing resistance to the ANC's abuse of our tax-money. They need more money from less tax-payers and thinking of all kinds of new ways to milk us, is only part of the strategy. *How does this ANC cohesion drive make sense? the last 12 years they have been VERY racist, completely failed to shut up MalEmmer; but now all this hypocritical claptrap. Just for our votes? Fat chance, and they know this. Damascus experience? I think not. It's more money from us, that they want without having to contend with our complaints. Make us feel guilty for not "being with them" -makes sense.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-09 09:40

    I believe this to be fair and the whites must also be included here. We often raise money through golf and other sport events to help the needy and know a lot of black businessmen who play golf almost every day and they are travel overseas a lot playing golf. Ask them to support any event, the answer is sorry I dont have any cash on me or I will see you after the game, they wont even buy a raffle ticket. Its the whites and the Indians or Asians that usually working at raising money to help the needy. Most black people are not very interested in helping other, prefer to help themselves. I am not talking about the little man in the street, because they do try to help, I am talking about the blacks who have it, to give. If money needs to be raised for anything, you will find a white person go out their way even give up time to lend a hand and try and get people to dig into their pockets. There is also the gift of the givers, they do a lot of good work.

  • bernpm - 2012-07-09 11:30

    "...Money: SA’s great divide..."...anything new in the world???

  • badballie - 2012-07-09 13:21

    low education standards and poor backgrounds.......ooh! i see its the ANC's fault, hell you should have said that in the first place, we all agree.

  • Avesh Athmanand - 2012-07-09 18:17

    Viva Ama charous. sorry to those wanna be charou thieves leave the dirty money to the professionals and dont be an Indian or coolie but be a charou !!! Continue sharing your wealth not matter how big or small as the Heavenly Father and Mother will continue to bless our BELOVED SOUTH AFRICA, Amen, Bismilla, Aum. Sharing is caring but becareful of con artist of all races !!!

  • Jenny Anderson - 2014-08-15 08:29

    The worlds great divide!!!!!!!!!!!

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