He's heavy, he ain't our brother

More than 80% of black South Africans don’t think Bob’s their uncle—in fact, they think Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is not doing a terribly good job. Clearly five years of the government’s “quiet diplomacy” have not succeeded in selling the softly-softly approach.

South Africans of all shades do, however, tend to agree that South Africa should not follow Zimbabwe’s land grabs: two-thirds of South Africans of all races see eye to eye on this. 

Research commissioned by author and journalist Geoff Hill for his new book, What Happens After Mugabe?, produced some surprising results.
Two thousand subjects were surveyed in metropolitan areas.

Arguments for a patriotic media acting in the “national interest” also don’t carry much weight with 83% of African respondents, who insisted “the media should criticise the government if they feel the government is doing something wrong”. “There is a strong attachment to not just a free press,” said Hill, “but a robust press.”

Land is often punted as an issue close to the hearts of black South Africans, but the research found that 82% of Africans would prefer to live and work in town even if offered free land in the rural areas.

While white people tend to aspire to the genteel country life, most Africans associate the rural areas with poverty. Asked if they would move out of the cities if they won more than R5-million in the Lotto, 75% of Africans said they would not.

An age divide was apparent, with 35% of older people preferring a rural life, as opposed to 15% of the youth. Forty-six percent of whites would move to rural areas if they could afford to.

The notion of xenophobic black South Africans bashing amakwere-kwere also takes a knock. Xenophobia is less prevalent among Africans than whites, with two-thirds of Africans feeling tolerant towards both black and white immigrants.

By contrast, 65% of white South Africans are tolerant of white immigrants, while only half feel black immigrants should be allowed to stay in South Africa.

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