Survey Says South Africans Are Too Pessimistic About National Economy


Poverty in south Africa, though not yet largely felt, has been reported to have decreased over the years with fewer people living below poverty level. Despite the change, Afrobarometer survey revealed that South Africans are still depressed by SA’s national economy.

Report has it that about 54% of South Africans rated the country’s economic situation as “fairly bad” or “very bad‚” showing an increase from the recorded 47% in 2011 and according to the survey, this is caused by the increasing and disturbing news people hear via the media.

Interestingly, the survey says more of South Africans are doing slightly better than expected on personal levels. Fewer South Africans than in 2011 described their own living conditions as “bad”‚ 36% versus 41%.

“To be sure, South Africans are increasingly pessimistic about their national economy: Compared to 2011, more citizens say the country’s economic situation is bad, conditions are worse than a year ago and not likely to improve over the next 12 months, and the country is headed in the wrong direction,” the survey stated.

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The proportion saying in 2015 that economic conditions were “worse” or “much worse” than 12 months earlier rose by 6 percentage points‚ from 33% in 2011 to 39%. Similarly‚ looking ahead‚ the proportion of those foreseeing worse conditions in 12 months’ time grew by 8 percentage points‚ from 21% to 29%‚ according to the survey.

No doubt the country’s economy is still staggering having been beaten by the country’s weather conditions that has affected food production alongside the drop in its mining, but Afrobarometer team tries to clarify that the situation is exaggerated thereby increasing people’s fear about the nation’s economy.

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)‚ which leads the Afrobarometer team in South Africa‚ said on Wednesday evening that report has it that fewer South Africans in 2015 than in 2011 report having gone without basic necessities during the previous year.

“Citizens’ pessimism about the economy aligns strongly with its performance”it says adding that with the exception to the recession of 2008-2009‚ economic prospects in 2016 are at their weakest point since 2000‚ with the economy projected to grow at 0‚9%‚ having dropped from 1.3% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2014. The official unemployment rate remains high at 24‚5% (Statistics South Africa‚ 2016).

to this, the Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)said the findings on the economy are being released at a time when the government‚ amid a severe drought and the impact of load shedding‚ has announced its plan to increase prices for some basic commodities as well as electricity‚

Though cash income remained a challenge for a majority of citizens, the survey team found that South Africans were less likely than in 2011 to report having gone without basic necessities at least once in the preceding year. About three in 10 citizens went without food (30%)‚ water (31%)‚ and medical care (29%) at least once‚ each reflecting a decrease of 8-10 percentage points from 2011.

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