With the research that FUTUREFACT has gleaned about the Western Cape, it’s no wonder people talk of ‘semi-grating’ down there.
Perhaps it is no surprise to those who love Cape Town and the Western Cape – its wine farms, mountains and lifestyle – that fewer residents of this province intend to emigrate than residents in the rest of the country. And perhaps it is no surprise, too, that they are a more critical bunch when it comes to South Africa’s political situation.
They are a maverick element when it comes to political affiliation, with a massive score of 163 for confidence in the Democratic Alliance (DA). Their confidence in the ANC is at a very low score of -187. Compare these with the confidence scores for the country: DA at -79 and ANC at 111.
They love their province and yet they are less likely to feel their quality of life is better than it would be elsewhere (50% versus 70%). Perhaps some of the answer lies in their belief that “the government has forgotten about people like me” and while their commitment to South Africa is good at 7.4 out of 10, it is slightly lower than average at 7.8. In fact, they are considerably more negative regarding South Africa’s achievements on a number of fronts: economic sustainability, political stability and our position on the UN Security Council, for example.
They are also less likely to acknowledge that they personally have benefited from democracy: 49% say they have benefited a little, 27% a lot, compared to the country as a whole at 40% and 44% respectively. They are far more likely than Gautengers to think the Protection of State Information Act, black economic empowerment and affirmative action are bad ideas. However, they are at one with their Gauteng peers in disliking e-tolls.
Yet there are good things in their lives: 80% live in suburbia compared with 55% in Gauteng. More are in full-time employment than the country as a whole. The province has a bulging middle class at 54% with a big reduction in the working class proportion in only one generation. State schooling has more appeal in the Western Cape with far fewer people sending their children to private schools than is the case in the country overall and there is a higher incidence of maths, science and technology subjects.
It is interesting, though, that despite 43% having Afrikaans and 19% Xhosa as a home language (with 35% English), 60% of parents in the Western Cape send their children to English medium schools.
‘Kapies’ appear to have it better on the crime front too: they (or someone in their immediate family) are less likely to be abused by a family member or friend. They are also less likely to be frightened of the police, to endorse taking the law into their own hands, and to believe a lot of the police are criminals themselves.
Bribe paying is also more likely to be frowned upon in the Western Cape than in other parts of the country. There is only a marginal 11% belief that it is okay to take a bribe to get a contract or tender, provided the job is executed properly – half that of the country as a whole. The same proportion (11%) would pay a bribe to avoid a fine, again lower than national average.
There are 3.227 million people in non-rural Western Cape, just under half the number in Gauteng. It is the racial mix that is the major driving phenomenon in demographic terms. Just over half are coloured, followed by whites at just over a quarter, with one in five being black. It has an interesting mix of cultures and languages, and the commitment to the country is good, as is commitment to our democratic foundations. It is also fascinating that 57% are prepared to pay a bit more tax so that everyone in the country has access to good medical treatment.
Greater social and political dissatisfaction levels in the Western Cape are easily noticeable. However, it is also important to note that there is more optimism than pessimism, that the concern with corruption and crime is at a lower level than in Gauteng and that state schooling appears to be a lot better. There is less intention to leave to work or live elsewhere than for the country as a whole. All of these factors play out in the media, with greater trust placed in journalists than in the country as a whole.
The findings presented above are from futurefact 2013. For more information, check out
This story was first published in the September 2014 issue of The Media magazine.
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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