'Hysteria over racism based on a handful of incidents', says IRR

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) says that a few racial incidents shared on social media don't reflect the state of affairs in South Africa.

The hysteria on racism is based on a handful of incidents - Penny Sparrow etc.

Gwen Ngwenya, COO of Institute of Race Relations

Despite the damaging vitriol often posted online, race relations in the country remain sound, says the IRR in a report released on Tuesday.

The IRR report found that only 3% of South Africans see racism as a serious unresolved problem.

Results suggest that most are far more concerned about unemployment (cited by 40%), poor service delivery (listed by 34%), inadequate housing (18%), crime (15%) and bad education (likewise cited by 15%).

IRR COO Gwen Ngwenya says the institute is confident that its sample of over 2000 participants reflects an accurate statistical representation.

Ngwenya explains that while race relations are still sound, they are fraying at the edges as public outrage over some incidents steeps into people's perceptions.

People's perceptions of racism are quite high but their actual personal experiences [of racism] are low.

Gwen Ngwenya, COO of Institute of Race Relations

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