An update on the situation in South Africa which came to me via an NY Times twitter feed (no links yet).At the Afrobarometer survey launch in South Africa. Lots of interesting data on public attitudes in SA:
- 71% say using force or violence during a protest is wrong.
[Ironic, as service delivery protests are often violent/destructive. Also, this means 29% of 40 million South Africans support violent protest.]
- 38% said the government should be able to restrict any information it wants, 48% said only for national security.
[Interesting, as it points out that 86% of South Africans support the government’s plan to restrict information access.]
- Only 1/3 of respondents unwilling to live under undemocratic rule in exchange for housing, jobs.
[Does this mean 2/3 support autocratic rule if they will be given work and a roof over their heads?]
If this were a referendum, the results would show that the majority of South Africans (and looking at the percentages, this most likely means a certain population group) support a Zimbabwe-style one-party government that will redistribute assets to the people.
It also means that more than ten million South Africans are willing to resort to violence to get what they want.
We are talking about a looming post-Apartheid failure on democracy, education and human rights on a massive scale.
It really saddens me to read these stats, because on the one hand it shows that the government has its work cut out for it if it is to turn the tide on ignorance. Yet it is the same ANC majority-led government that has perpetuated — and is still perpetuating — this cycle of ignorance and violence to serve its own ends
This means there is no happy ending.