Race a 'key determiner' in quality of life of Gauteng residents – survey

2018-11-13 19:05
The Johannesburg skyline is seen at sunset. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

The Johannesburg skyline is seen at sunset. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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While quality of life for Gauteng residents is increasing in general, white people still enjoy a better quality of life than black people, the 2017/2018 Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Quality of Life survey suggests.

Released on Tuesday, the survey found that overall, Gauteng residents have reported an improvement in their quality of life over the last few years.

The GCRO is a partnership between the provincial government, and the universities of the Witswatersrand and Johannesburg.

The survey also found that the rate of increase of quality of life for white people is greater than that of black people, which is the only population group with an average quality of life score below the provincial average.

The GCRO study says this is a trend seen across previous surveys conducted.

However, white people have consistently had the highest average quality of life score over time. While the average scores for both population groups have increased since 2011, the rate of increase has been faster for white people.

This is concerning, says GCRO senior researcher Christina Culwick, as this shows that historical inequalities are persisting.

"Despite significant improvements in material well-being for previously disadvantaged groups, race remains a key determiner of overall quality of life in Gauteng," Culwick said.

'Politics a waste of time'

Satisfaction levels with provincial government have also increased over time, and they have increased the most for white people.

The survey shows that in 2009, 50% of survey respondents across races reported being satisfied with the provincial government.

That figure plummeted to 33% in 2011, but rose to 40% in 2013/2014, and then dropped again to 39% in 2015/2016. By 2017/2018, satisfaction levels were at 45%.

But 53% of white respondents in 2017/2018 were satisfied with the provincial government - an increase of 15% from the 2015/2016 survey.

Black respondents, however, had lower levels of satisfaction, although satisfaction levels increased over time.

In 2015/2016, 39% of black respondents were satisfied with provincial government and in the 2017/2018 survey, satisfaction levels were at 42%.

White people are also less likely to think that politics is a waste of time. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement: "politics is a waste of time", and 42% agreed in the 2017/2018 survey.

The survey notes that, since 2013/14, a consistently decreasing proportion of Indian/Asian and white respondents agreed with the statement.

Both black and coloured respondents are more likely to feel that politics is a waste of time in 2017/18 than they did in 2015/16.

These levels of apathy are the same as they were in the 2012/2014 survey, the researchers note.

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