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Survey – Covid-19? South Africans have other things to worry about right now.

While the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown has been a constant stress on the world at large for the past year, South Africans say they have additional concerns.

The latest ‘What worries the world‘ report from global polling firm, Ipsos, shows that South Africans are far more concerned with rising unemployment, violent crime, and government corruption – with Covid-19 falling to the bottom of the list of things stressing them out.

The Ipsos survey is run monthly and gauges the views of people from 27 countries globally, who are asked about 18 main points of stress.

As is to be expected amid a global pandemic, the Covid-19 crisis emerged as the biggest concern globally, with 47% of all respondents placing it as their primary worry in December. This continues the trend seen through much of 2020.

“The elevated global concern about Coronavirus recorded over the past few months has not abated. Almost half of our respondents worldwide (47%) say that Covid-19 is one of the top issues facing their country, level with November,” Ipsos said.

“This is the ninth month that the virus has occupied the top spot, following its first inclusion as a survey category in April 2020.”

This was followed by unemployment and poverty and social inequality – factors which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

South African respondents said they have bigger things to worry about.

Only a quarter (24%) put Covid-19 as their biggest concern, with more focused on unemployment, corruption and crime. Of all the countries surveyed, South Africans found corruption and crime to be the most pressing issue of those listed.

These were the top five biggest worries for South Africans:

  • Unemployment – 59%
  • Corruption – 59%
  • Crime and violence – 58%
  • Poverty and social inequality – 29%
  • Covid-19 – 24%

South Africa faces unprecedented economic decline and record levels of unemployment, all while reports of government corruption related to the Covid-19 continue to make headlines.

And while much of the world is pessimistic about the direction things are going in, South Africans are particularly negative, with 80% of respondents saying the country is moving in the wrong direction.

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