Date of publication: 2018
Defining and Measuring Social Cohesion in South Africa: Policy Brief 1
Social cohesion is linked to more stable and participatory democracies, greater economic productivity and growth, inclusivity and tolerance, effective conflict management and resolution, and a generally better quality of life for people.
Addressing social cohesion is particularly critical in South Africa given the context of widening inequality, growing unemployment, and persistent racial inequalities. Without a consensus-based working definition that reflects both intellectual discourse as well as the lived experience of citizens, we cannot understand whether – and how much – social cohesion exists in South Africa today, and how its extent or deficit could be measured and tracked over time.