72% of South Africans report no personal experience of racism: IRR

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72% of South Africans report no personal experience of racism: IRR

Ernest Mabuza | 2017-02-07 09:53:27.0

The survey covered a sample of 2291 people from all nine provinces and covered both rural and urban areas and all social-economic strata. File photo

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Race relations in the country – despite worsening economic conditions‚ high unemployment‚ poor education‚ and inequalities – remain generally sound.

This is the conclusion by the Institute of Race Relations‚ which commissioned a survey aimed at finding out how South Africans view race relations in the country.

The survey showed that some 72% of South Africans report no personal experience of racism in their daily lives.

The survey came during a year in which a number of notable incidents of racially offensive comments were given coverage in the media. This reinforced perceptions that South Africa might yet descend into a race war.

Notable was the case of estate agent Vicki Momberg‚ the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery‚ who was caught on video using the “k-word”.

There were also threats of violence against whites being reported‚ a notable instance being EFF leader Julius Malema telling supporters: “We are not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now!”

The survey covered a sample of 2291 people from all nine provinces and covered both rural and urban areas and all social-economic strata.

Of the respondents‚ 78% were black‚ 9.2% were coloured‚ 2.8% were Indian‚ and 9.9% were white.

The field survey first asked the respondents to identify what they themselves regarded as the two most serious problems not yet resolved since 1994.

The two top problems identified were joblessness (40%) and poor service delivery (34%).

Other key concerns were a lack of housing (cited by 18%)‚ crime (15%) and problems in education (cited also by 15%).

By contrast‚ racism as a serious problem that had been unresolved was cited by 3% of all respondents and by 2% of blacks.

“This is a particularly noteworthy outcome because answers were not prompted in any way and respondents were free to list any issue important to them‚” IRR’s head of policy research Anthea Jeffery said.

She said‚ in addition‚ more than half of respondents (55%) believed race relations had improved since 1994‚ while a much smaller proportion (13%) thought they had worsened.



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