The latest ranking of the world most happiest countries released a shocker to almost everyone especially as it ranked South Africa as one of the least happiest countries far below the popularly known “Giant Of Africa”.
In a report released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, showed Syria, Afghanistan and eight sub-Saharan countries as the 10 least happy places on earth to live.
The report which was released on Wednesday, March 16 2016, had Denmark, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, and Australia in the top 10 happiest countries with no African country meeting up the ranking.
South Africa was ranked 116th, coming in behind Ethiopia (115), Namibia (113), Iraq (112) and Nigeria (103). South Africa is apparently ‘happier’ than some of its neighbors, with Zimbabwe ranked 131, Botswana 137 and Zambia 140.
Data supplier Gallup Inc looks at trends in data recordings, on how highly people evaluate their lives on a scale of zero to 10. A little different from the attentions in the past reports the new report gave special attention to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries.
South Africa has in the recent years been faced with diverse challenges ranging from racism, corruption, university riots rape cases and lots more which of course could be important factors that has undermined the happiness of the citizens.
There have been signs that racism is mounting a comeback – if it ever went away. The country is now facing a fresh offshoot of racial discrimination and like fire, it is beginning to engulf the socio-political and socio-economic status of the country. First in social media then to prestigious universities and now in politics.
The ruling ANC, which has an official policy of non-racialism, happens to often play the race card to attack the opposition. Recently it was reported that the party accused the Democratic Alliance, of being a party of “white racists. So is it in all the nooks and crannies of the South African Society.
To this, the Human Rights Commission said South Africa is becoming more racist following the high number of complaints it received.
Increase In Rape Cases
You will all agree with me that alongside the high discriminatory rates, is rape cases. Police crime statistics released in September 2015 state that in 2014/2015 there were a total of 53 617 sexual offences reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS). This translates into 147 cases per day and apparently, this has tremendously increased in the past few months of 2016.
Despite the law against rape in the country, report has it that rape in South Africa has emerged as a crime of extreme violence. In fact, commentators liken the types of rape they see in South Africa to those perpetrated during armed conflict, in terms of the degradation, ritual humiliation and the extent of injuries, such as mutilation, that are involved.
Among other factors considered by the report was the economic factor and how it affects the lives of the people. With the fall of the rand, the South African economy has continued to stagger. A lot blames President Jacob Zuma and his new economic policy, the drop in Chinese demand for steel alongside the recent change of the finance minister who they think was doing best at his work – for the economic crisis. “There is nothing I can see that is on the table that is going to prevent that from happening and that is a shame.” and economist, Chris Hart said .
These among so many others could be regarded for the drop in happiness of South Africans. The United States however came in at 13, the United Kingdom at 23, France at 32, and Italy at 50 in the ranking.