Poor South Africans More Active, but Less Well Served by Government

28th February 2013 By: Idasa, an African Democracy Institute

Most South Africans looked forward to the State of the Nation Address (SONA), with anticipation that President Jacob Zuma would provide more concrete and time-framed solutions to the aching problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment. These issues were identified during the 2012 SONA as the top most problems facing the nation, and South Africans are particularly keen to hear the government`s plans to alleviate poverty. During the SONA, the President noted the steady progress made in addressing social challenges in areas such as health, education, energy, water provision, rural development, and in harnessing social ills such as crime and human settlements. However, he bemoaned the lack of progress in arresting the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty. Alas, the SONA fell short of providing answers to poverty challenges.

The Afrobarometer is a comparative series of public attitude surveys, covering up to 35 African countries in Round 5 (2011-2013). It measures public attitudes on democracy and its alternatives, and evaluations of the quality of governance and economic performance. In addition, the survey assesses the views of the electorate on critical political issues in the surveyed countries. The Afrobarometer also provides comparisons over time, as four rounds of surveys have been held from 1999 to 2008 and Round 5 is currently underway.

To see the press release please download the article on the link above. Also find for download an analytical paper on the SA data relating to poverty.