- The number of black people who believe life was better
under South Africa's apartheid regime is growing, according to a survey
- In a rebuke to the African National Congress government,
more than 60% of all South Africans polled said the country was better
run during white minority rule.
- One in five black people interviewed gave the regime
which jailed Nelson Mandela and denied them the vote, a positive rating
- a result which analysts attributed to crime and unemployment. In 1995,
fewer than one in ten gave apartheid a positive rating.
- A growing number of white people voiced confidence in
the future of the state, as did blacks who have prospered since democratic
elections replaced apartheid in 1994. Perceptions that the new elite is
corrupt have also diminished.
- The study was conducted by Afrobarometer in September
and October on behalf of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, Ghana's
Centre for Democratic Development and Michigan State University.
- Some 2,400 South Africans were interviewed in a representative
sample based on the 1996 census. The disparity in views on the new South
Africa threw into relief the anger of a large minority of blacks who felt
abandoned, said Bob Mattes of Afrobarometer, which is based in Cape Town.
- "They are not looking to go back to apartheid, but
as time passes you tend to forget the negative things and emphasise the
things that you had then and don't have now, such as law and order and
jobs. Apartheid was a harsh, repressive, but seemingly efficient government
which made the trains run on time."
- There were positive findings for the young democracy
but Prof Mattes said the state should be worried at a growing "de-linkage"
between ruler and ruled. Only one in 10 people believed their elected representatives
were interested in their needs and fewer than one in three felt today's
government was more trustworthy than the apartheid regime.
- Black people were only slightly more positive than white
and mixed-race groups about the government, with 38% deeming it more trustworthy
than the ousted oppressors. Prof Mattes also attributed the bitterness
to controversial legislation which allowed elected officials to switch
parties, giving the ANC more control at provincial level.
- However, the feebleness of the opposition meant that
in the short term there was no threat to its power, he said .
- "There is no place for disaffected African voters
to go to. They either stay out [of the political process] or hold their
noses and vote for the ANC," he added.
- However, 54% of those questioned viewed the current system
of government as positive - an 18% jump since 1995. The apparent nostalgia
for apartheid emerged when people were asked to compare governments. Guardian
Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002