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Trust in government has been eroded over the past decade, can it be restored?

14 September 2021 11:28 AM
Tags:
Corruption
Unemployment
Afrobarometer

Public trust in elected representatives is particularly low, and only a quarter of South Africans express trust in either the ruling or opposition parties.

According to a new Afrobarometer survey fewer than two in five South Africans trust the president “somewhat” or “a lot,” and more than two-thirds have “just a little” or “no trust at all” in Parliament, the police, and their local council.

Could this be the reason that whenever government does try to implement new measures political parties and civil society groups are quick to criticize them, or run to the courts in an attempt to block these efforts?

Public trust in elected representatives is particularly low, and only a quarter of South Africans express trust in either the ruling or opposition parties. Several rounds of the Afrobarometer survey reveal a clear downward trend in South Africans’ trust in public institutions over the past decade.

In the wake of widespread rioting and looting that gripped South Africa’s two most populous provinces in July 2021, Afrobarometer data from May-June 2021 point to a lack of trust in state institutions as a possible factor undermining government authority and legitimacy.

What could be the reason behind our continued scepticism and distrust?

Clement Manyathela speaks to Mikhail Moosa, the Project Leader for the SA Reconciliation Barometer at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation about this.

What we find is that, in the early 2000s, when unemployment is a little bit lower and economic growth was increasing, people were quite generally satisfied with what was happening. Politically, of course, we saw big majorities for the ANC but over the last decade that's really changed quite a lot. People have become quite frustrated with their circumstances and just generally, government's ability to provide for them as well.

Mikhail Moosa, Project Leader for the SA Reconciliation Barometer at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

There is quite a large degree of scepticism over public figures and almost anything the government does but a lot of it is borne from economic frustration.

Mikhail Moosa, Project Leader for the SA Reconciliation Barometer at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Public trust is something that's going to take a lot of time to restore in as much as it took a lot of time to erode...

Mikhail Moosa, Project Leader for the SA Reconciliation Barometer at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Listen to the full interview below for more...




14 September 2021 11:28 AM
Tags:
Corruption
Unemployment
Afrobarometer

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