South Africans are more concerned about job security and basic services more than they are about land reform.
A survey, the findings of which were released on Thursday also revealed that the country’s citizenry trusts business more than government.
“Creating jobs and improving quality access to basic services such as education and healthcare: These and other basic services rank higher than demand for land, according to public opinion polling research conducted by advisory firm, Brunswick.
“The survey finds that jobs are overwhelmingly (73%) the biggest cause of anxiety and the biggest demand across all respondents,” read the report.
Speaking to City Press on Tuesday Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane shared similar sentiment saying: “South Africans are more worried about having a job in every household. This is the reason why we are making job creation the core focus of everything we do and we will offer special incentives to investors who meet a minimum jobs threshold.”
The Brunswick poll also indicates that South Africans are also more concerned about better healthcare, the schooling system and housing before even considering land reform.
The data shows that on the issue of land reform, black South Africans are evenly split on whether land restitution will be positive or negative for the economy, while the rest of the population believes it will be negative.
The poll also revealed that South Africans see corruption as the biggest threat to the economy and jobs.
It also demonstrates that in this low trust environment, business and civil society are nonetheless seen as best representing the interests of South Africa.
“More importantly, it is business, followed by government, that is thought to most likely ensure South Africa’s economic success,” reads the poll.
Itumeleng Mahabane, Brunswick’s Africa lead partner for business, politics and society said, “the results suggest that BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink’s message that companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate rings even more true in South Africa.
“That respondents are very positive about business and markets in general but feel that business leaders are disconnected from society represents both a threat and an opportunity for business leaders.”
According to the report released on Tuesday, the research was conducted over a period of three years, to explore the expectations of South Africa’s citizens, in an effort to provide business and political leaders with insights into the priorities and perceptions of citizens about South Africa’s future.
Because the survey was conducted online with an audience representing the informed and engaged subset of the population, the results demonstrate the attitudes of the significantly more affluent, educated and urban.