In a recent study conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, it was found that the majority of young black South Africans believed that the Democratic Alliance would bring back apartheid if they won the next election. 3009 respondents, aged between 15 and 34, were interviewed across South Africa, and asked their opinion regarding whether the leading political parties supported some form of apartheid. The survey found that respondents were more likely to believe that, if elected, the DA would indeed bring back apartheid, with 46% of all respondents holding this view. In comparison, 36% felt the DA would not do this. 18% of respondents were unsure. However, black respondents were significantly more likely to believe that the DA would bring back apartheid, with 52% of blacks holding this opinion. In comparison, 26% of Indians, 21% of coloureds, and 19% of whites believed that a DA victory at the next election would bring back apartheid. There was little difference across age and gender groups.
The survey also asked respondents whether they thought the ANC had introduced apartheid in reverse, where blacks were now favoured over other racial groups. Young South Africans were divided on this question. While 40% of all respondents believed the ruling party did implement apartheid in reverse, 45% did not agree. 15% were unsure.
Respondents’ views on this question also differed according to racial group. White, coloured and Indian respondents were significantly more likely than black respondents to think that the ANC implemented apartheid in reverse. More than two thirds (68%) of whites and 66% of both coloureds and Indians believed that the ANC was practicing reverse apartheid, compared to a third (33%) of blacks. Responses to this question were consistent across age and gender groups.
Shirley Wakefield, spokesperson for Pondering Panda said, “It’s clear that young people still have mixed views about what our political parties stand for. Almost twenty years after our first democratic elections, many still believe that apartheid will return if the DA comes to power, while others believe that the ANC is implementing a policy of apartheid in reverse. These perceptions are likely to play a major role in the next elections, and both parties need to do much more to educate young South Africans about what they stand for if they are to change their minds.”
All interviews were carried out on cellphones between the 16th and 21st of April, across South Africa. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race.