News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday August 23rd 2019

Youth have lost trust in government – IJR survey


The majority of young South Africans between 15 and 35-years have lost trust in the government due to corruption and leaders not availing themselves when young people are faced with challenges, says the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

The finding comes from the IJR’s ninth SA Reconciliation Barometre Survey, the only survey in South Africa, since the transition to democracy, that provides a barometer of the progress in reconciliation since 2004.

It is a nationally representative public opinion poll conducted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003, with the researchers having surveyed 3 565 youth across South Africa from both rural and urban areas and across all race groups.

This year’s barometer was launched in Cape Town today.

According to IJR senior project leader Kate Lefko-Everett, people are losing trust in government.

She said the results show that 40% of black youth have little or no confidence in political parties, and the same goes for more than two-thirds of youth of other races.

Of the 3 565 young people surveyed, 58.9% indicated they did not trust political parties.

They were doubtful that national leaders were concerned with the views of ordinary people, said Lefko-Everett.

It was also revealed that “large numbers” of South Africans believe they have witnessed corruption in their own communities and more than one in three people believed government was not doing enough to combat corruption.

However, young people are more optimistic than adults that a difference could be made by getting a disinterested government to listen to their views.

35% Of youth thought it was better to ignore the law and solve problems immediately on their own and 24% said it is not necessary to follow the laws of a government they did not vote for.

In addition, the survey revealed, one in five youths say they have participated in violent or destruction protests over the past year.

“Access to quality education, finding employment and ensuring their views are heard may lead youth to turn to unconventional and unexpected channels to express their frustrations,” said Kate Lefko-Everett.

This year had been the worst on record for reconciliation, said IJR director Dr Fanie du Toit.

“If half of your young people think there is no way a leader can listen to them, there is a problem,” said Du Toit.

He said the conclusion of the survey was that “reconciliation is a hard train to measure”, adding that young South Africans were “trying” to forge social relationships with people from other races and doing much better in this regard than those from older generations. – Sandiso Phaliso

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3 Responses to “Youth have lost trust in government – IJR survey”

  1. mrglass says:

    Transparency engenders trust. It is imperative that all political parties make their party funding lists open to the public. Why does this debate never see the light of day in this country? There can be only one reason. Money buys influence and if the voting public knew who was buying political influence it would influence how we vote.
    We have a right to know who we are voting for and who fills the coffers of political parties to influence decision making, party policy and in turn government policy. How can anybody be expected to trust the government, or any political party for that matter, in the absence of this level of transparency?

  2. Ubuntu says:

    Youth in SA should realise that nothing tangible and visible with impact will bring about trasformation of their lives when they are waiting for other people or institution to do things for them. Yes all of us are still faced with legacies from the past, but everyone has a choice how to react and respond to these realities. Young people in SA still have the brains, the energy and will to improve their lives. Opportunities are everyone but it takes a discerning eye and ‘out of the box’ mindset. Youth can force government to dispose of NYDA as this public entity has never had any impact or real or true vision about how to address the plight of youth in the country. They can mobilise themselves through various mediums to force government to do on their promises to help youth uplift themselves. Our education system has fallen and it is time youth rise up like the 1976 youth and demand real change. Let the resources being ploughed in NYDA be shifted to active youth focused NPO and youth focused projects or programmes that have the potential to make a difference to young people’s lives, but the limited resources or support from government is impeding this potency.
    Pity most young people are oblivious to what is truly happening in SA and so their concerns are not clear and most young are divided in terms of the vision for youth development. It is a real challenge for youth now to have the will to learn positive things out there and learn to distinguish between bad role models and good ones. ANC led government intentionally led youth astray with fear their if youth of now-generation were as conscious as the 1976s then ANC would not enjoy the majority votes it gets at polls. If ANC led gov cared about youth, they would have ensured NYDA is not led and run by incompetent, inexperienced and morally bankrump ANC members who care more about lining their pocket then youth development issues. Youth in SA must stop being brainwashed and being made to fear the unknown. No new apartheid will ever come back, instead SA is now facing neo-apartheid entrenched and institutionalised by ANC. This country has become a mafia run country who will stop at nothing to milk whatever resources they can get their dirty hands on. I’m afraid a new revolution may come at a barrel of guns, with bloodshed and the once avoided civil war that SA was saved from. I’m Black and will vote DA just to reduce the majority rule of this corrupt ANC-led government and urge the youth to learn more about what DA has to offer. I can assure them that I’m not a DA card carrying member, just someone who sees the truth – that ANC is rotten to the core

  3. […] Youth have lost trust in government – IJR survey West Cape News, Sandiso Phaliso,  7 December 2012 […]

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