Study finds South Africans are proud and patriotic ahead of Freedom Month

Domestic perceptions article

Johannesburg, Thursday 31 March 2016 – Coming ahead of the country’s annual commemoration of Freedom Month, Brand South Africa’s Domestic Perceptions Research shows that being South African is a significant element of individual and national identity. Over 80% of 2 536 respondents say they are extremely proud to be South African.

Giving further expression to the strength of the country’s citizenry, Brand South Africa’s research also shows that social cohesion levels stand at 76% and active citizenship levels stand at 61%.

Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela said, “These findings are significant in light of perceptions that South Africa is a fragmented society. Our research indicates that South Africans on the whole are extremely proud of the country and its achievements. The term ‘I am South African’ found resonance amongst participants in the study with many strongly identifying with this.”

In order to gain insights on how South Africans describe themselves, an open ended question was posed to respondents who were asked to describe themselves in five words. An analysis of the responses indicated that respondents see themselves in a positive light – focusing on character and personality traits like loving, friendly, hardworking, respectful and honest.

Mr Makhubela added: “Coincidentally, these self-descriptions resonate with findings from, for example, the Nation Brand Index, and City Brand Index that shows international respondents also describe South Africans as hardworking, open, and friendly people.”

“That we have a social cohesion level of 76% and an active citizenship level of 61% also bodes very well for the strength and robustness of our democracy. A nation’s strongest asset is its citizenry. The results of this study tells us that South Africans are earnestly engaged in the nation building exercise.”

“You cannot sell the brand of the country and ensure it is positively positioned without buy-in of its people, and these results attest to the fact that citizens are firmly on the side of the nation brand. Looking towards Freedom Month 2016 and with 80% of its population behind the nation brand, South Africa is in a good place to build on successes of the past and strengthen future gains.

“It is in the spirit of this shared future, a path that is clearly articulated in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, that Brand South Africa calls on citizens to collectively respond positively to the challenges the country faces,” concluded Mr Makhubela.

Follow the conversation on @Brand_SA #FreedomMonth2016