A third of South Africans will accept communications regulation for security

A new survey conducted by research group Afrobarometer shows that a minority of South Africans have no problem with giving government more power to monitor communications if it means keeping them safe.

Co-author of the report and assistant professor of Political Science at Michigan State University, Peter Penar outlines some of the findings of the survey, conducted across more than 30 African countries.

Read: South Africans are becoming dissatisfied with the country’s leadership

There is this emphasis on security needing to be a foundation of political processes but at the same time, if that security limits some of the basic freedoms enshrined in some key documents, then there are some serious concerns.

Peter Penar, Co-author - Afrobarometer survey

Across the continent, 62% of Africans support democracy. There has been a decline in that support, but it still remains fairly high because security provides the basis for democratic processes to take place.

Peter Penar, Co-author - Afrobarometer survey

The survey was based on face-to-face interviews with sample sizes of between 1,200-2,400 per country

It focuses on the trade-offs between democracy and security.

About 60% of South Africans embrace free communication meaning no regulations of communications, which is above the African average.

Peter Penar, Co-author - Afrobarometer survey

However, 36% of South Africans are willing to accept that government should be able to monitor private communications if it means increased security.

For more on the findings of the report, listen below:


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