South Africa Still a Chronically Racially Divided Nation, Finds Survey

David Smith, Guardian (London), December 6, 2012

“Can we deny that Cape Town is still the most racist city in South Africa?” asks Kenneth Lukuko, in an essay contained in the SA reconciliation barometer survey (pdf) published on Thursday. “Perhaps we can’t.”

During Nelson Mandela’s presidency, he notes, “it was the only city in which he was met with a placard that referred to him with the K-word [the taboo term “kaffir”]. And it has taken Cape Town longer than anywhere else in the country to name a major public space or amenity after Mandela, although it is the city associated most closely with his incarceration, as well as being the backdrop for scenes of his release, which were broadcast all over the world.”

But while Cape Town is regularly accused of being a neo-apartheid stronghold the annual survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) raises some difficult questions about the rainbow nation project as a whole.

Eighteen years after the end of white minority rule, it found, 43.5% of South Africans rarely or never speak to someone of another race. Little more than a quarter (27.4%) interact with a person of another race always or often on ordinary weekdays, while 25.9% do so sometimes.

Less than one in five (17.8%) South Africans always or often socialise with people of other races in their homes or in the homes of friends. A further 21.6% do so sometimes, and more than half (56.6%) rarely or never socialise across race lines.

The survey has been conducted every year since 2003. Whereas both contact and socialisation levels increased during the early years, little has changed since 2010. “Certainly, latent and overt stereotypes, fear or trepidation about others, and even naked racism may have contributed to static levels of interaction and the slow pace at which social bonds are being forged between South Africans of different race groups,” the report notes.

“Indeed, in 2012, 41.4% agree that they find the ‘ways and customs’ of people of other race groups difficult to understand. However, each year the reconciliation barometer survey also finds an almost entirely linear relationship between contact, socialisation and living standards: South Africans who live in affluent households in urban areas interact and socialise the most across racial lines, and those in the least affluent households—often in rural areas, homogenous former townships and informal settlements, and where formal sector employment is low—interact and socialise the least.”

The poll found that 61.8% of South Africans believe that national unity across historical divides is desirable, although agreement is lower among white (49.4%) and coloured (mixed race) (50.5%) youth, who display higher levels of ambivalence—and 59% believe that this is possible.

Disapproval of racial integration in schools, residential neighbourhoods, workplaces and marriage has continued to decline overall. But still 18.1% of South Africans say they would not approve of living in a residential area in which half their neighbours were people of other races, and 20.3% would disapprove of working for and taking instructions from someone of another race.

There are now nearly 20 million South Africans with no experience of living under apartheid, a demographic trend that the party of liberation, the African National Congress (ANC), will have to contend with. The survey found that a clear majority (83.8%) agree that apartheid was a crime against humanity and 82.5% agree that before the transition to democracy, the state was responsible for committing atrocities against anti-apartheid activists. A further 81.1% agree that the apartheid government wrongly oppressed the majority of South Africans.

Yet differences again emerge along racial lines, with recorded agreement lower (68%) among white South Africans than other groups (74%). A split is evident in response to a question that assesses apartheid’s economic legacy: whether or not black South Africans are still poor today as a result of the lasting effects of apartheid.

The poll found 82% of black South Africans agree that this is the case, as do 73.3% of Indian/Asian and 61.4% of coloured South Africans. Only about half (50.6%) of whites agree.

White, coloured and black youth are all more likely than adults to question whether apartheid was a crime against humanity and that the state committed atrocities against activists: 27.7% and 24.6% of white youth agree that these statements are certainly or probably not true.

Higher percentages of white (38.0%), Indian/Asian (28.4%) and coloured (32.2%) youth than adults feel it is untrue that black South Africans are poor today as a result of apartheid’s legacy.

The report warns: “These findings pose difficult questions about how young people understand South African history, their sources of information, and whether a struggling school system has missed an important opportunity for education on the past, civic identity and citizenship, and national and constitutional values.”

The IJR said its Reconciliation Barometer survey was conducted through face-to- face interviews with a nationwide sample of 3,565 South Africans representative of the adult population, with an equal gender split.

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  • Puggg

    “Chronically racially divided”

    As if racial division is some sort of disease. I look at it as the cure.

  • Ulick

    The article notes that the division was lessening for years, but has now plateaued and is not showing any “progress”. That period of lessening racial division is a kin to a male-female relationship. There’s a feeling out process at the beginning where you give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Your optimism and belief that being in a relationship is a great thing (as the media brainwashed white South Africans into believing) blinds you to the other person’s shortcomings and leads you to make excuses for them. This phase of idealism only lasts so long in a relationship, though, and soon the other party’s blemishes become more noticeable and less palatable. If the party’s truly are incompatible the process is sped up, and the parties soon become antagonistic. They can forever live in an antagonistic relationship that lessens their quality of life, or they can admit their mistake and seek to part ways. It sounds like many white South Africans have moved past the phase of idealism. now see the blemishes in their partner that should have been noticeable all along, and now seek to break-up.

    • Dude

      Whites are like an abused woman in the relationship.

      • Sean

        I liken us to the overly browbeaten husband to a spoiled Jewess.

        “Yes, dear”

      • pcmustgo

        “No Boundaries”

    • pcmustgo

      This is true of all ex-liberals…. there was a period when we gave blacks and other non-whites the benefit of the doubt. And they dissapointed us.

  • David Ashton

    One of the paradoxes of social apartheid is that it kept well-off English and Jewish members of the urban white community from experiencing the full reality of the peasant Bantu, as opposed to seeing them in a polite servant role. This fueled the liberal sentiments against more hard-headed Afrikaner folk.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Just like ivory tower liberals in the US, who claim to love DIEversity yet live in hideously homogeneous White neighborhoods.

      • Jefferson

        I live in a zip code area where only 2 percent of the population is Black, and I am 100 percent proud of living in a 98 percent Non Bantu area.

        Than again I am not a liberal, so I do not feel White guilt shame for living in a zip code where the percentage of Blacks is significantly lower than the national average.

  • You Are Now Enriched

    White South African’s have a “chronic” distaste for Diversity, which pretty means they are chronically doomed by some UN mandate that will force more of the toxic voodoo biohazard on them.

    “No matter how much black violence against Whites grows, racism in the White community is still worse.”

    -your White daughter just back from college

    Now would be a good time for another reading of Anthony Jacob’s White Man, Think Again!

  • Liberalsuck

    Considering whites are getting murdered there by blacks, doesn’t seem to hard to ponder as to why whites avoid blacks.

    • Tom_in_Miami

      The rampant torture/murders of white South Africans, particularly the farmers, cannot continue at the current rate. They are already in a state of genocide. I can’t imagine how they can stay in that hell hole before they either move out or die out.

      • Liberalsuck

        Me either. We could certainly use those whites in America or in other European countries. Hell, the Russians and Ukrainians would certainly welcome them with open arms.

    • French reader

      I believe that General John Mongrel of the “gang 28” in Cape Town can certainly answer that question.

  • So CAL Snowman

    As the years carry on and South Africa is further removed from apartheid and continues to degenerate into a typical third world african hell, it will become harder and harder to blame black failure on White racism. Already as the article notes, 20 Million South Africans are alive that have never lived under apartheid. If apartheid was so bad, then why is the country literally falling apart 18 years AFTER it ended? In 10 years when the country is completely obliterated, like Zimbabwe, will the africans still be whining about apartheid?

    • IstvanIN

      Yes they will, in fact 100 years post-apartheid they will.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      Genetics research is advancing at a blistering pace. The day will soon come when the evidence of racial differences is simply undeniable, even for the most Marxist liberal. I predict that it will be here in 30-40 years, maybe less.

      When this happens, people will finally understand the failure of black-run South Africa, and liberals won’t be able to be apologists for them anymore. Of course, it will likely be too late for South Africa by then, but it may save America.

      • anarchyst

        Racial differences have already been proven. The eficacy of medications is different for whites than blacks. IQ levels between the races are substantially different. The studies that have been done (that PROVE racial differences exist) are submitted quietly for peer review. The portions of the studies that prove racial differences are rarely reported on to the public. Our mass media conveniently omits any suggestion that racial differences exist by not reporting the full story on these scientific studies.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          I understand that and fully agree. However, so long as the genetic proof eludes us, liberals will try to explain away IQ differences as being caused by “racism”. And yes, they do indeed smother studies that have shown differences in effectiveness of medications, etc.

          But the coming years will bring an heretofore unseen flood of genetic, incontrovertible evidence that cannot be explained away. They will attempt to smother this as well, and they may succeed for a while, but such basic and irrefutable proof will not be held under covers for long.

          Genetic proof, unlike IQ-difference proof, has no other explanation. Liberals cannot refute it. They cannot blame it on white racism, inequality, “institutional racism,” poverty, poor schools, or anything else in the playbook.

    • GSJ

      Because that is what blacks do best. Think about it. Why do blacks do poorly in school? Past discrimination. Why are there IQ scores lower? Past discrimination. Why do they kill people so much? Past discrimination.

  • Laager

    What this survey does not address or explain is that divisions amongst people in South Africa are an intertwined mixture of hygiene, ethnicity, race, language, education and class differences. Anywhere else in the world this is accepted as “freedom of association”.

    For example a survey has identified 300 clearly separate communities in London UK predicated on language and ethnicity. In their business interactions they all get by in variations of English with all other groups. Socially they stick to themselves. None of this division is legislated and it is accepted as “normal” by all parties.

    In South Africa it is exactly the same. Yet the meddling foreign liberal mind seems to think that this is unnatural in South Africa and for some peculiar reason all South Africans should be one great big happy melting pot family because of some warm fuzzy feel-good emotion that stumbles through the liberals mind and out of their mouths. Why can’t they just mind their own business, stay away and let these issues sort themselves out over time – just as they did during the apartheid era?

  • pcmustgo

    “Higher percentages of white (38.0%), Indian/Asian (28.4%) and coloured (32.2%) youth than adults feel it is untrue that black South Africans are poor today as a result of apartheid’s legacy.”


    • Liberalsuckl

      White people really need to let go of their guilt. Partly because other racial groups don’t have guilt for bad things their ancestors did, and also because our guilt is destroying us.

  • pcmustgo

    Less than one in five (17.8%) South Africans always or often socialise with people of other races in their homes or in the homes of friends. A further 21.6% do so sometimes, and more than half (56.6%) rarely or never socialise across race lines.

    I’m shocked even 20% of South Africans of any race “often” socialized with people of other races in their homes or friend’s homes.

    In hyper-diverse NYC, I’d say only about 10% or less…. 5% of the Blacks, Asians, Indians or Latinos regularly socialize with whites on that kind of basis… or even go to the same bars or nightclubs and share space that way. It might even be the top 1% of Latinos and Blacks that do this. 10% for East Indians/Asians.

    • pcmustgo

      Blacks socialize even less with East Indians/Asians. I NEVER see Blacks with Mexicans… rarely with Puerto Ricans, even that relationship is strained.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    “The poll found that 61.8% of South Africans believe that national unity across historical divides is desirable, although agreement is lower among white (49.4%)”

    I’m surprised they have resisted the liberal brainwashing to this degree. More than half of white South Africans know that a mixed-race nation is undesirable. This is yet more proof that the more surrounded by blacks you are, the more you understand how futile it is to attempt to civilize them.

  • Commando

    I have been a Cape Town resident all my life, so herewith a quick explanation that Amrenners should easily grasp :
    Blacks view CT as racist, as they see a South African city that has not yet been Africanised and is still clinging to its first world status, and where whites and coloureds still outnumber the black population. Hence the old envy scenario. Whites view the city as probably the most liberal city in SA.
    Cape Town is exactly the same as a blue state in the US, i.e the vast majority of CT whites very seldom come into contact with (all races but especially ) blacks. Thus the old adage of the less whites are exposed to blacks, the more liberal they are.
    In CT I am surrounded by whites who would have voted for Obama given the chance to do so.
    Whites in other cities/provinces in SA are much more exposed to black pathology and way less likely to be bleeding heart liberals.

  • IKantunderstand

    I was given a survey at work. Which essentially asked about my feelings about working with Blacks. I lied. Can you imagine what a South African who doesn’t have the money to emigrate would say? I lied, only my job was on the line. For a White South African, his life is on the line.