SABC News - Survey finds local government is not delivering:Wednesday 7 December 2011

Survey finds local government is not delivering

Wednesday 7 December 2011 15:25

Crystal Orderson

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has released the South African Reconciliation Barometer survey.

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has released the South African Reconciliation Barometer survey. (SABC)

 

The gap between rich and poor is the biggest impediment standing in the way of reconciliation. This is one of the findings of the 2011 South African Reconciliation Barometer survey which the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has released in Cape Town today.

 

The survey measures progress in reconciliation since the country's transition to democracy.  The 2011 SA Reconciliation Barometer also found that the majority of South Africans have no confidence in local government structures - the coal face of service delivery in the country.

It is the 11th year of the survey and it offers a realistic and sobering look at race relations in the country.  3 500 people were interviewed across the country and almost one in four never mix with other race groups.

Fanie Du Toit from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation says: "It’s been a year that put a huge strain on national unity and reconciliation process and at the same time its important to note that levels of racial trust remains extremely relevant to address economic inequality in country."

The survey also looked at how citizens perceive government, violent protests, employment equity and the wealth gap. 32% of the people spoken to believe the gap between rich and poor is the biggest divide.

Opinion is also divided over renaming, especially when costly for the state. 40% agree that is important to rename public places and facilities that remind us of apartheid.

South Africans believe they should be allowed to sing historic freedom songs in public.

Many believe gap between rich and poor is divisive. 66% of people believe that national reconciliation is necessary. Majority of people believe that national reconciliation is necessary whilst more than half of population believe local government not delivering.

According to the survey, just under half of South Africans believe that service delivery protests are justifiable to air their grievances.

Kate Lefko-Everett from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation says: “We found that confidence in local govt is much lower then other govt spheres, we also seen not as many protest as last year but they are becoming more violent so we feel there is a need to boost citizen confidence in local government and improving service delivery."

Majority of people are concerned that gap between the rich and the poor is the biggest contributor to poor social cohesion followed by political party membership and race.

The survey also found that about half of South Africans believe they should be allowed to sing historic freedom songs in public.

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