Proud to be South African

Ipsos Poll examines pride in our heritage, views on nation-building and what the future holds for children in South Africa.

Proud to be South African

Proud to be South African


Ipsos Poll examines pride in our heritage, views on nation-building and what the future holds for children in South Africa.

63% of South Africans say that they are Proud to be South African, according to a recent Ipsos poll exploring socio-political views of South Africans.  This is down 12 percentage points from 2015, when 77% of South Africans stated that they were proud to be South African.

“The last two years in South Africa were not easy for many people, South Africans, in general, do not believe the country is going in the right direction, the economic woes are increasing, political uncertainty became a way of life and apart from a few rays of light, our sports teams are not covering themselves in glory either.  Interestingly, DA supporters show the highest proportion of those saying they are proud to be South African at 72%, compared to 63% of EFF supporters and 66% of ANC supporters” states Mari Harris, political analyst and Head of Public Affairs at Ipsos South Africa. One can also note more national pride amongst the older age group (65%). Those of 15 – 34 years show lower agreement with the statement “I am Proud to be South African” at 60%, below the average of the total population. “The younger generation is suffering most from the high unemployment rate in the country and feel that they have to live with many unfulfilled promises made by politicians in the past,” says Harris.


Proud to be South African                        

Nation building

The South African public does not perceive the government’s handling of the issue of “nation-building” to be very impressive, with only about a third (36%) believing they are doing very well / fairly well. ANC supporters have the most positive view (44%) of the ANC led government’s efforts regarding nation building while supporters of the opposition show lower levels, most notably the DA at 29%.


Government performance nation building

“This could be a matter of differing expectations from government,” states Harris “and it is no surprise that supporters of opposition parties are more critical of government’s handling of this issue.  Interpretations of political rhetoric and the opinions expressed by political leaders probably play a role in the views expressed on the next issue.  A statement, “It is impossible to unite all the different groups in this country” was put to respondents.  More than a third (37%) of ANC supporters agree with the statement that, a slightly smaller proportion of the supporters of the official opposition, 31%, believing that uniting as one nation in South Africa is impossible.  The sentiment of ANC voters could also be a function of their own experiences within the ANC, which is currently showing a great deal of factional sentiments.”


Nation Building

Looking to the future

In the often-emotive question of what the future holds for our next generation, South Africans are sharply divided in their views: four in every ten (40%) are expecting a bright future for children, whilst 43% believe that their future is bleak.  Analysing the answers by age shows a high level of optimism from the youngest age group of 15 – 17 years old, while those between the ages of 18 – 34 years seem less positive – with 43% believing the future is bleak. “These differences in optimism between the younger age cohorts in the country are possible since many 15 – 17 year olds might still be at school and are not yet working or relying on themselves for a livelihood”, concludes Harris.  

Future for our children



Technical Detail


The Khayabus study was conducted from 21 April to 22 May 2017.  A total of 3,598 South Africans, 15 years and older, were interviewed.  They were randomly selected and interviewed face-to-face in their homes and home languages. Interviews were conducted all over the country, from metropolitan areas to deep rural areas. This methodology ensured that the results are representative of the views of the universe and that findings can be weighted and projected to the universe – i.e. South Africans 15 years and older.


Trained quantitative fieldworkers from all population groups were responsible for the interviewing and CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) was used. All results were collated and analysed in an aggregate format to protect the identity and confidentiality of respondents.


All sample surveys are subject to a margin of error, determined by sample size, sampling methodology and response rate. The sample error for this sample at a 95% confidence level is a maximum of 1.63%.