Against what is obtainable in most democratically developed countries, SA democracy is largely believed to be governed by a few and for the benefit of the few.
This is according to a new nine-country survey by Washington-based Pew Research Centre which found a common perception on how the SA government is run.
The research center said concerning the SA democracy signs of political discontent are increasingly common both in emerging democracies and more mature democracies that have faced economic challenges.
In eight of nine nations included in the new survey‚ more than half of respondents say government is run for the benefit of only a few groups in society‚ not for all people, the research center reportedly noted.
This is to prove that developing economies like South Africa are facing a wide spread dissatisfaction with the way the political system is working.
According to reports, South Africans are likely to believe the government is run for the benefit of the few. SA citizens who are under the category of those with secondary education or more believe government is run for the benefit of a few groups (81% vs. 63% of those with less than a secondary education)‚ while a few others believe ordinary citizens are more likely to influence the government (68% vs. 58%).
This research finding came at a time South Africa battles with controversial issues including the alleged state capture by a few politically influential citizens, growing corruption and financial back lash facing the country.
Bussinesslive quoted the research center saying the skeptical outlook on government does not mean people have given up on democracy or the ability of average citizens to have an impact on how the country is run.
The group noted in its findings that ordinary citizens in South Africa and other developing countries can have a lot of influence on government if they are willing to make the effort.
This statement echoes Sipho Pityana’s charge via podcast that South Africans must wake up and show their disdain and disapproval of the capture of the state of the South African state by a small group of people who are close friends and associates of the President and some family members of the President in order to advance their personal interests.
Pityana who is also a member of the Save SA campaign said South Africans must stand up against state capture, corruption and in defense of the SA democracy.
“We are calling on South Africans, irrespective of their party political affiliations, irrespective of their ideological disposition or religious beliefs, and indeed we are calling on South Africans poor and rich, female and male, we are calling across the board, young and old, to come together in defense of our sovereignty”
Meanwhile, the Washington-based Pew Research Centre said political participation rates in the three African countries surveyed are highest for traditional forms of participation — having voted in an election‚ attended a campaign event or speech and participated in a volunteer organization.
Approximately three-quarters or more have voted in an election at some point in their lives.
Younger adults — ages 18 to 34 — are less likely than those 50 and older to have voted in the past. The largest age differences are in Kenya and SA‚ where more than nine-in-ten older adults have voted in the past (95% and 94%‚ respectively)‚ compared with roughly six-in-ten younger adults (59% and 62%‚ respectively), the research group noted.