Blaming racism is ploy by politicians to find excuses for own failures‚ IRR survey finds
Ernest Mabuza | 2017-02-07 12:47:21.0
A member of the COSATU display a anti-racism sign outside the Durban city hall. The IRR said that the ANC and the EFF often blamed the country’s current problems of high unemployment‚ low growth‚ poor education and persistent inequality on racism and colonialism. File photo.
Image by: AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo
About half the country’s population believe politicians who blame racism for the country’s problems are trying to find excuses for their own failures.
This finding is contained in a survey commissioned by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) in September‚ which aimed to find out how South Africans viewed race relations in the country.
The survey found that just 3% of South Africans saw racism as a serious unresolved problem.
The majority of the interviewed sample of 2291 people‚ across all nine provinces‚ identified unemployment and poor service delivery as the most pressing problems
The institute said the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) often blamed the country’s current problems of high unemployment‚ low growth‚ poor education and persistent inequality on racism and colonialism.
The survey‚ conducted in September last year‚ asked the respondents if they agreed with the statement that “all this talk about racism and colonialism is by politicians trying to find excuses for their own failures”.
While 26% disagreed with the statement‚ 49% endorsed the statement. Divergence across the colour line was marked‚ because 46% of black people supported this view‚ compared to 68% of whites.
“The IRR has long been concerned that politicians and other commentators might seek to foment racial divisions for political or ideological gain‚” the IRR report released on Tuesday said.
The report noted that there were many in the ruling party and the EFF who sought to identify white racism – and the white privilege this supposedly sustained – as the key reason for persistent poverty and inequality within the country.
“This perspective plays a useful part in distracting attention from the ANC’s many policy failures over the past 22 years.”
The study said that‚ since 1994‚ the ANC had put its primary emphasis on redistribution rather than economic growth‚ despite the fact redistribution would never be enough to meet the needs of an expanding population.
It said the ANC’s policies had failed to overcome a host of barriers to upward mobility and had often made them worse.
These barriers included‚ among others‚ a meagre economic growth rate‚ one of the worst public schooling systems in the world and a mistaken reliance on affirmative action measures.
“It is these factors‚ rather than white racism‚ that currently make it so very difficult to expand opportunities for the poor and overcome inequality between the different racial groups.”
– TMG Digital