By: Elnari Potgieter
Date of publication: 2017
Interracial marriages in South Africa: Attitudes and challenges
More than two decades after the advent of democracy in 1994, and over three decades since the ban on interracial marriages was lifted in South Africa, third-party constraints to interracial marriages in the form of legal barriers no longer exist. Although legal barriers to interracial marriage diminished, this does not necessarily mean that attitudes towards interracial marriages have changed. Exploring attitudes towards interracial marriages help us understand society at a broader level. Such sentiments form part of a much bigger picture of progress made in terms of reconciling South Africans after apartheid, and is an aspect that helps us understand how far South Africans have come in terms of integration and addressing prejudices. To this end, this working paper explores attitudes towards interracial marriages, using data from the South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) from 2003-2015. Overall, positive change (albeit incremental) in terms of approval of a close relative marrying a person from another race group has happened – as can be seen in a decrease in disapproval, as well as the increase in neutral responses. However, much works lies ahead in tackling prejudices in this regard.