Race relations in SA currently seem to be in turmoil. Controversies that have erupted around racist social media posts have been advanced as evidence for the widespread persistence of apartheid-era racism. Black South Africans have meanwhile been presented as hostile towards non-racialism and impatient about the slow rate of social change.Cheerleaders from a dwindling camp of optimists, such as the SA Institute of Race Relations (IRR), point to the findings of a broadly representative national opinion survey the Institute commissioned last year. Only 4% of citizens claim that racism is one of the most serious issues facing the country. More than three quarters of South Africans think that race relations have improved, or stayed the same, in recent years.Such evidence is open to all manner of interpretation. But there are reasons to suppose that race relations are going to get quite a lot worse.The biggest constraint on current interracial antagonism may be that most blacks — in rur...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.