More SA Blacks say life under Apartheid was better

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Original Post Date: 2002-12-16  Posted By: Jan

From the News Archives of: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
Date & Time Posted: 12/16/2002 10:47:16 PM
More SA Blacks say life under Apartheid was better

More SA Blacks Are Saying Apartheid Life Was Better.

The number of black people who believe life was better under
South Africa’s apartheid regime is growing, according to a
survey published yesterday. 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 (194)Â Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002

Source: The Guardian – UK
Date: 13-12-2002