Most South Africans agree reconciliation is still needed, according to 2021 SA Reconciliation Barometer

By Published On: 15th December 2021

The findings of the 2021 South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) suggest that a majority of South Africans agree that South Africans still need reconciliation, ahead of Reconciliation Day on 16 December.

Reconciliation is a complex and contested term. The Reconciliation Barometer asks respondents to define what reconciliation means to them. The survey finds that the most common meanings of reconciliation are associated with forgiveness and peace.

Key findings

  • A majority (72%) of respondents agree that South Africans still need reconciliation.
  • When asked what reconciliation means, the most common responses from South Africans are ‘forgiveness’ (39%) and ‘peace’ (31%).
  • Only a slim majority (52%) of respondents agree that South Africans have made progress in reconciliation since the end of apartheid.

About the SA Reconciliation Barometer:

The SARB is a nationally representative public opinion survey on issues of governance and cohesion. The IJR has conducted the SARB survey since 2003 and the most recent round was conducted in October and November 2021. The survey was administered in multiple languages in all nine provinces via face-to-face interviews while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions. The sample size of the survey is roughly 2 400, which yields a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
The IJR will be releasing the first report of the 2021 SA Reconciliation Barometer on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 at 10:30. Register for the launch webinar on Zoom here:

Mikhail Moosa, Project leader for SA Reconciliation Barometer (IJR)
Mobile: 078 222 4497

Figure 1 Perceived reconciliation progress

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