Pondering Panda conducts ongoing research into the youth market of South Africa. They survey a broad variety of topical issues impacting young South Africans, with the intention of measuring the ‘pulse’ of the nation. Their latest survey was intended to get a sense of what the current perceptions amongst young people are towards drugs, and if they feel the situation is improving or deteriorating.
Shirley Wakefield, Panda Keeper at Pondering Panda in conversation with BizRadio’s Grant Jansen
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“It is clear that not only is drug-taking in South Africa a huge problem, but the situation is also seen to be deteriorating, rather than improving. It is especially disturbing that even young teenagers know somebody who takes drugs. Equally disturbing is the lack of faith amongst the majority of young South Africans in the effectiveness of the police in controlling the problem. This is a social problem that cuts across all demographic groups, indicating that it is widespread across the country. It is clear that more decisive action is needed urgently.”
Also listen to: SA Youth: Nice TV ad, but do I trust your brand?
- 5024 respondents, aged between 13 and 34 were interviewed across South Africa, and asked about their perceptions regarding the drug problem in South Africa.
- All interviews were carried out on cell phones between the 31st of January and the 5th of February, across South Africa. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race.
- The drug problem amongst young South Africans is getting worse, with a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of police efforts to control the situation.
- 95% of respondents recognized that drugs are indeed a problem, but when asked about whether the situation was improving or deteriorating, 89% felt it was getting worse.
- The police were seen to be largely ineffectual, with 61% of respondents saying that police needed to do more to stop drugs being bought and sold. These perceptions regarding the problem of drugs and the ineffective policing of the situation were broadly held, across all demographic groups.
- The severity of the problem was underlined by the fact that 73% of respondents claimed to know somebody who was taking drugs. Although younger respondents were less likely to know somebody taking drugs, 64% of those aged 13 or 14 knew at least one drug-taker.
Join Grant Jansen (@Kapetonian) every weekday morning from 10 to noon for the Daily Biz on Biz Radio. Stay in touch with Grant at @Biz_Radio on twitter, Biz_radio on Skype and [email protected] to mail him.
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