29 August 2007
Ninety-six percent of South Africans are now proud of their country, with white South Africans closing the patriotism gap with their black compatriots, according to the latest South African edition of the World Values Survey.
While 83% of whites described themselves as proud to be South African in the previous survey, released five years ago, that figure had now risen to 95%, the survey’s authors told journalists in Pretoria on Monday.
The survey, conducted in November and December by the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at the University of Stellenbosch and market research company Markinor, involved 3 000 face-to-face interviews of people across the country, conducted in six of SA’s 11 official languages.
The lead researcher for World Values Survey SA, Dr Hennie Kotze, attributed the results to the positive socio-economic trends South Africa had experienced over the last five years.
The survey also found that South Africans’ confidence in state institutions had increased by 11% over the previous survey – although around 40% of respondents said the government was doing “very badly” when it came to handling crime.
Political system, democracy
The survey also focused on the system governing the country. People were asked to rate the political system as it was under apartheid, the current political system, and the political system expected in the future on a 10-point scale, with 1 being “very bad” and 10 being “very good”.
While black South Africans were the most positive about the current and future political systems, white, coloured and Indian South Africans were more positive than negative, with an average of more than 5 out of 10.
The survey also showed that South Africans regard democracy as very important: on average, the survey respondents gave democracy a score of 8.7 out of 10 for importance. When asked to what extent South Africa was a democracy today, the respondents answered on average 7.4 out of 10.