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News Room

These Are The Biggest Sources Of Stress In South Africa

Jason Snyman
2019-04-17
Bring out the stress balls - South Africa is a mess! A recent global study has revealed the main factors which have South African citizens living in a perpetual state of anxiety and despair. Let's take a look at the findings.

It has been said that there are two types of people in South Africa: those who can handle massive amounts of stress, and those who need bail money. As South Africans, we even find it stressful to avoid stress, and end up stressed out in anyway. We wake up screaming, and then realise that we haven’t even fallen asleep yet. 

What’s causing this sense of uneasiness in us? One market research firm, Ipsos, may be able to shine a light on the matter.

Ipsos recently published its latest ‘What Worries The World’ study, in which 28 countries are questioned over their biggest concerns and fears.

The firm conducted 20 019 interviews with adults aged 18 to 64, between 22 February 2019 and 8 March 2019, and then weighted the data to match the profile of the population. 

Let’s take a look at the findings.

Bring Out The Stress Balls – South Africa Isn’t Looking Good

The results of the study show that most people (58% on average), all across the world, are quite pessimistic about the future and believe that their country is plummeting toward its doom.  

China has the most optimistic outlook, with 9 out of 10 confident Chinese citizens stating belief that the country is headed in the right direction. This was followed by Saudi Arabia with 84% of its populace comfortable with the way the country is run, and then India with 73% and Malaysia with 57%.

Other countries which appear to be on the right track – showing consistent increase in positive sentiment – are Sweden and Hungary. 

At the other end of the spectrum, we find that South Africa, France, Spain, Turkey and Belgium aren’t faring too well, with most citizens apprehensive about the future of their country. Only 23% of South African and French citizens believe that their country isn’t going to collapse in on itself in a massive ball of fire, followed by 24% in Spain and 26% in Belgium and Turkey.

Mexico, Italy and Canada have seen drops in optimism – the biggest plummet found in Mexico, with a reduction of 12%.

The Ipsos study found that most people around the world worry about the following factors, above all else:

• Financial / Political corruption (34%);

• Unemployment (33%);

• Poverty / Social inequality (34%);

• Crime and violence (31%), and;

• Healthcare (24%).

South Africa follows these international trends quite closely, and it is both comforting – in that we’re not alone in this mess – and disturbing – in that the entire world seems to be falling apart.

Of course, due to South Africa’s low level of internet access, the statistics that follow should not be considered nationally representative, but representative of a more affluent, internet-connected population. It’s safe to assume, though, that these concerns are echoed throughout the entire country. 

For example, of all countries tested by Ipsos, South Africa ranks the highest (69%) for concerns about financial and political corruption.

That’s easy to understand. 

Our second greatest concern is to do with the alarmingly high rate of crime and violence (59%), followed by a high unemployment rate and lack of jobs (57%).

Again, you only need to open a newspaper, turn on the news or indeed – take a look out of your window – to understand how prevalent these problems are, and how they’ve set the nation on edge.  

Here are the biggest concerns in the world, and how South African’s rank them:

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