More than two thirds of adult South Africans (68%) are confident that all population groups in the “rainbow nation” should enjoy a happy future.
“With the recent media coverage of expressions of racism on social media, it is easy to believe that we are slipping back into the habits that many South Africans have worked so hard to overcome,” says Mari Harris, a spokesman for independent research company Ipsos. “It is worth highlighting that the majority of South Africans, as shown in this data, are optimistic about a happy future for all of us, regardless of the current issues.”
The findings are according to polls by Ipsos and was conducted prior to the recent incidents covered in the media relating to racist comments. A total of 3 617 randomly-chosen adult South Africans were interviewed in their homes and home languages in September/October 2015.
The sentiment, at 68% of respondents confident of a happy future for all races, is at its highest levels of optimism since around 2008.
Looking across the population, it is clear that this positive sentiment is far more pronounced amongst the younger generation.
In terms of provinces, Mpumalanga shows the highest levels of optimism, with 83% believing in a happy future for all races in South Africa. Western Cape shows the lowest degree of confidence (49%). Confidence levels in Gauteng are slightly below those of the total population at 64%.