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News release

South Africans rate current political system far better than apartheid but report little change in socioeconomic conditions

20 Apr 2016 South Africa
Since South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994, the government’s development plans have focused on redressing racial inequalities in socioeconomic outcomes.

Key findings

  • South Africans’ ratings of current and past political systems remain largely unchanged since 2011, at an average of 6.1 out of 10 points for the post-1994 regime and 3.4 for the apartheid system. However, optimism about the political system in 10 years’ time has declined significantly (from an average of 8.2 points in 2011 to 6.8).
  • Despite rating the current political system far better than apartheid, on average, only 37% of citizens believe that life has improved since 1994 on a range of socioeconomic indicators, while 24% believe that conditions have remained the same and 38% that they have deteriorated.
  • The largest proportion of respondents see an improvement in race relations (52%), followed by safety (42%), economic circumstances (41%), and employment (30%). Only 17% perceive an improvement in differences between the rich and the poor.

Download the full press release.

For more information, see our Dispatch No. 82