Class inequality hampers progress

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Johannesburg - Class inequality has become the greatest impediment to national reconciliation, a barometer survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) has found.

“It (the report) lists six overarching social issues, of which class was most commonly identified as the most divisive (27.9

percent), with race dropping to fourth place (14.6 percent),” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The SA Reconciliation Barometer Survey (Sarb) proposed a renewed concept of “radical reconciliation” to highlight the link between the need for material transformation in conjunction with psychological bridge building.

“As South Africa moves into its 20th year of democracy and prepares for its fifth national election, the report focuses on current issues of social, political and economic exclusion,” the IJR said.

The survey indicated that in 2013, citizens felt less trusting of national leaders.

Results showed a 10.8 percent decrease in citizens’ confidence in national government since 2012. There had been a 13 percent increase in the proportion of citizens who believed the government did not care about “people like them”.

The survey found that ordinary citizens showed the highest confidence in religious institutions (67 percent) and the public protector (64.4 percent), and the lowest confidence in political parties (45.2 percent) and the police (47.9 percent).

The Sarb survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews in all nine provinces, using a questionnaire developed by the IJR that included around 100 survey items.


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