WHILE more than four in five young white South Africans (84%) favour stronger police action against strikers, only half of young blacks feel the same way.
These are the findings of a survey conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, after it polled 3061 young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 34. The survey also found almost two thirds of coloureds were in favour of stronger police action against strikers. Indians felt the same.
Overall, 54% of young South Africans thought police should be taking stronger action against strikers, 41% were against stronger action and 5% were unable to decide.
There were also significant regional variations, in line with the racial differences. Respondents in the Western Cape were the most likely to call for stronger police action, with 61% in favour.
The Eastern Cape had the highest proportion of respondents who opposed the idea – 50% thought police should take stronger action against strikers.
Apart from race, there were no significant differences in attitude related to gender or age.
Shirley Wakefield of Pondering Panda said this was just another example of how South African society was "fracturing politically along racial lines".
"As long as our politicians don't tackle issues like these head on, it's only going to get worse. The one thing South Africa's youth can agree on is that the government isn't doing enough to manage the country," she said.
"It needs to take stronger action, and show it is actually in control. It is up to our political leaders to provide strong, capable leadership that earns the respect and trust of young people."
Responses were weighted to be nationally representative of age, gender and race. Interviews were conducted on Mxit.