South Africa: Corruption stalling reconciliation efforts – Survey

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:11 pm

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) says more than 80 percent of South Africans believe that reconciliation is impossible as long as corruption continues to run amok in the country.IJR lead researcher Elnari Potgieter said some 84.4 percent of her compatriots believe that “a dark veil of corruption” that is hanging over South Africa is affecting public confidence in the country’s leaders and, therefore, hindering efforts to unite the races.
Speaking during the launch of the 2019 Reconciliation Barometer in Cape Town, she said that the majority of South Africans told the researchers that the lack of confidence in the leadership is accentuating divisions between the races.
According to the researcher, most of the respondents were also of the view that reconciliation in the divided country was also unreachable as long as gender-based violence remained rampant, and as long as politicians continued to exploit social divisions for political gain.
Breaking reconciliation down into different components highlighted the fact that “if there are different ways we can work towards it, it feels a little less overwhelming”, Potgieter said.
According to her, the barometer was based on a survey of 2,400 people who answered questions “on a voluntary and face-to-face basis,” and the sample was nationally representative of the adult population.
She added that the research found a big gap between those who saw reconciliation as necessary (77%), and those who felt they had personally experienced it (51%).
The survey found that half of South Africans felt that corruption had worsened since 1994, and that just under a third felt race relations had changed for the better and 40% thought that inequality was worse now than before democracy arrived 25 years ago.