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SA citizens don’t trust immigrants, says survey

lllegal Immigrants inside the Lindela Camp in Randfontein. File Picture: Mujahid Safodien

lllegal Immigrants inside the Lindela Camp in Randfontein. File Picture: Mujahid Safodien

Published May 13, 2022

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Pretoria – Recent findings from the Inclusive Society Institute’s have revealed that there is a lack of trust in South Africa to sufficiently underpin social cohesion.

South African citizens have shown an extreme lack of trust in foreigners, be they from Africa or from other overseas countries.

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The information is imperative as it sheds light on the sporadic incidents of xenophobia in the country.

“The lack of trust runs across most dimensions, be it race, gender, age, education, income, or political party. This was found in an extensive poll commissioned by the Inclusive Society Institute late last year,” CEO of Inclusive Society Institute, Daryl Swanepoel, said.

Swanepoel said only 31.23 percent of South Africans said they completely trusted or somewhat trusted immigrants from African countries, with only a slight differentiation between men and women.

Swanepoel says that “62.62 percent of male and 62.63 percent of female South Africans either did not trust immigrants very much or at all”.

Based on race, the Indian and Coloured communities were slightly more trusting of immigrants from Africa, with 57.9 percent of Indians and 54.87 percent of Coloured communities indicating that they did not trust immigrants from Africa very much or at all.

This increased to 62.61 percent and 63.76 percent of white and black South Africans respectively.

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Based on education, the survey results suggest that more educated individuals are, the more they are willing to trust African immigrants.

Swanepoel said that “60.27 percent of South Africans with some high schooling either did not trust immigrants very much or at all”.

“For those that had matric distrust reduced to 62.24 percent, and for those with higher education distrust reduced 59.71 percent,” Swanepoel said.

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In terms of age, there is little differentiation to be made with all age bands recording a distrust in the lower 60 percent range.

“Similarly, earnings did not appear to make much of a difference in South Africans’ attitudes,” the report said.

The report also suggested that authorities would do well by taking heed of the warning signs and ensure that social interventions are undertaken to improve relationships between the local and immigrant communities.

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