Johannesburg - Forty percent of young black people have little or no confidence in the country’s political parties, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
The same was true of more than two-thirds of young people from other races, the study showed.
It was conducted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) showed on Tuesday.
The young blacks approached for the SA Reconciliation Barometer were under the age of 35.
Overall, about 58 percent of young South Africans said they would consider supporting a political party different to the one preferred by most of their friends and family.
The study found that 49 percent of all South Africans doubted that national leaders were concerned with the views of ordinary people.
“Not only young South Africans but adults, really believe that political leaders are not responsive to their views, and they have no power to change the opinions of what happens in government,” said IJR researcher Kate Lefko-Everett.
About 44 percent of people surveyed said they had witnessed corruption in their own communities, and more than one in three believed government was not doing enough to fight it.
The study was conducted between March and April 2012 among 3500
South Africans across the nine provinces. Half of this sample population was the youth.
It showed that 70.5 percent of black youth had confidence in the presidency while only 40 percent of their white counterparts believed in the country’s highest office.
About 18 percent of the Indian youth sampled had confidence in the presidency, while 31.4 percent of the coloured population had confidence in the presidency.
The Constitutional Court was the institution which all races and age groups had confidence in, with 69.4 percent of the sampled population giving it the thumbs up.
Of the population sampled, 25.4 percent believed economic inequality was the main dividing factor among South Africans.
Economic inequality had remained the main reason for division in South Africa in the barometer since its inception in 2003.
About 47.7 percent of all young people surveyed believed that their economic situation was likely to get better in the next two years.
But 46.1 percent of the youth also believed they were likely to be unemployed in the next year.
Despite high levels of unemployment in the country, most of the youth viewed themselves as “energetic” and were optimistic about their future.
“It may be that the youth are more optimistic about their future than the reality of what the economy can provide at the moment,” said Lefko-Everett. - Sapa