Rich versus poor : discrepancies in perceptions of ANC and NP supporters towards the poor in South Africa

Mamabolo, Nancy Matsie (2000-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Within the academic fraternity poverty has traditionally been treated and analysed as a sociological concept. When poverty reaches critical proportions, its consequences may, however, spill directly into the political sphere. The author contends that poverty has become one of the major determinants of political debate in South Africa. The NP government (which changed its name to NNP in 1998), which ruled South Africa from 1948-1994 instituted apartheid, a policy, which gave priority to the interests of whites to the detriment of blacks, coloureds and Indians. This resulted in an unequal distribution of resources, and consequently also unequal social development of South Africa's different population groups. As a result poverty is concentrated in the non-whites groups, with blacks as a group being the worst affected. The aim of this assignment is to investigate the difference in attitudes between supporters of the ANC and NP towards poverty and the poor in South Africa. In this assignment the author proposes that ANC supporters have a better understanding of the nature of poverty and more experience of poverty than NP supporters. She bases her contention on the fact that the overwhelming majority of the ANC's supporters come from the previously disadvantaged groups. The finding of this study is that political party support is one of the major determinants of perceptions that South Africans hold towards the poor. ANC supporters seem optimistic about the future prospects of the poor, while NP supporters seem to be more pessimistic. It must, however, be noted that in many instances there seem to be a general trend that population groups in both parties have the same response pattern (e.g. blacks will show the highest percentage in a response to a question, followed by coloureds, Indians and then whites or vice versa).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hoewel akademici armoede hoofsaaklik as sosiologiese konsep beskou, kan ekstreme en wydverspreide gevalle van hierdie kondisie direkte implikasies vir die dag tot dag politiek van 'n staat inhou. Die skrywer voer aan dat dit toenemed die geval binne die Suid-Afrikaanse politieke konteks is. Inderdaad het dit een van dié vernaamste dryfvere van openbare beleid geword. Apartheid was die breinkind van die NP (sedert 1998 die NNP) wat Suid-Afrika van 1948 tot 1994 regeer het. Die toepassing van dié stelsel het bygedra tot die sistematiese ontneming van die mees basiese regte van swart, bruin and Indiër Suid- Afrikaners tot voordeel van hul wit landgenote. 'n Byproduk van hierdie beleid, was die oneweredige verspreiding van hulpbronne wat oor 'n tydperk van byna vier dekades bygedra het tot 'n grootskaalse ekonomiese ontmagtiging van die bogenoemde groepe. Gevolglik is armoede vandag nog gekonsentreer binne die bruin, Indiër, maar veral, die swart bevolkingsgroepe. Die sentrale oogmerk van hierdie opdrag is om vas te stelof daar wesenlike opinieverskille tussen ANC en NP ondersteuners oor die kwessie van armoede bestaan. Die skrywer voer aan dat dit wel die geval is. Sy substansieër haar stelling deur te verwys na die feit dat ten tye van die relevante meningsopname die ANC se ondersteunerskorps hoofsaaklike uit swart Suid-Afrikaners bestaan het, terwyl dié van die NP hoofsaaklik uit wit, bruin en Indiër ondersteuners bestaan het. Haar bevindings bevestig dat party affiliase een van die primerê determinante van Suid-Afrikaners se houding teenoor armoede is. ANC ondersteuners blyk meer optimisties te wees oor die vooruitsigte van die armes as NP ondersteuners. Dit moet egter genoem word dat In vergelyking tussen die responspatrone van spesifieke bevolkingsgroepe 'n soortgelyke tendens binne die twee partye uitlig. In die meeste gevalle sal die persentasies vir of teen 'n stelling in dieselfe volgorde (swart, bruin, Indiër en wit) of omgekeer voorkom.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51901
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