SA Reconciliation Barometer Survey: 2021 Report

The 2021 South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB), a nationally representative public-opinion survey conducted regularly by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), aims to provide a measure of several aspects of public opinion. The first introductory section outlines the context within which the survey was conducted. This it does by reflecting on the past two years since the last survey. The COVID-19 pandemic, the unrest seen in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, and the outcomes of the recent local-government elections (LGEs) all show how much has changed in South African society recently. It is likely that each of these, along with broader structural and historical considerations, has influenced South Africans’ opinions in the survey. The second introductory section outlines the methodology of the survey. In the first thematic section, Section 3, the 2021 SARB explores the concepts of reconciliation and social cohesion. The second thematic section, Section 4, explores the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Africans. The third theme explored in the 2021 SARB, in Section 5, is interpersonal trust. The fourth theme, explored in Section 6, focuses on democratic political culture, that is, it reflects on the state of South Africa’s democracy. The fifth thematic section, Section 7, explores the idea of national identity and nation-building. The final section, Section 8, explores the legacies of apartheid in South Africa.