Today's Big Stories

Racial mistrust 'a bomb waiting to explode', says sociologist

About two thirds of South Africans have little or no trust for racial groups other than their own.

This is according to the annual reconciliation barometer published by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR).

The IJR's policy programme head, Jan Hofmeyr said the findings revealed the extent of polarisation which still exist in South African society, adding that race and income inequality are the biggest reasons for social divisions.

Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:

The levels of physical interaction between South Africans of different races remains quite low. We only talk to each other in 'legislated spaces' such work and school, but hardly in intimate social spaces.

Jan Hofmeyr, Programme Head at the IJR

We are socialising in rather homogeneous contexts.

Jan Hofmeyr, Programme Head at the IJR

Meanwhile, sociologist Xolela Mangcu said the findings confirm the concerning state of race relation in South

It doesn't help anybody to deny or avoid the subject. We are sitting on a powder keg.

Xolela Mangcu, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town

This article first appeared on 702 : Racial mistrust 'a bomb waiting to explode', says sociologist


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