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fnb project: matchstick

fnb project: matchstick

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The project conducted for FNB via their agency, Metropolitan Republic, reflects the views of 1,360 opinion-leading young South Africans from various backgrounds of the country. Individuals across age groups (kids, teens and young adults) from Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape responded to the survey and expressed their opinions on numerous issues and attributes relevant to South African society. These responses were captured through video recordings and written questionnaires or essays, and represent opinions elicited through either prompted (e.g., Q & A) or unprompted (e.g., speeches) formats. This feedback report documents the findings from an analysis of 10% of the overall sample (randomly selected and equally distributed across participating regions and age groups). These findings provide a snapshot of savvy young South Africans current take on the country. The tables below outline of the sample by race, sex and age-group. Race (%) Black White Coloured Asian/Indian Age-group (%) Kids Teens Young Adults 33.3 33.3 33.3 68.8 23.2 5.8 1.4 Sex (%) Female Male 64.5 30.4

Important note: The percentage values represented in this report reflect the number of mentions each theme received across all the different formats. These percentage scores cannot to be interpreted as being representative of the percentage of youth who hold these beliefs. Instead, they are a reflection of how these views (such as crime) compare to other views expressed in the interviews. Project limitations: The views of the youth recorded in the interviews were voluntary and it is likely that the youth who featured in these videos represent highly opinionated and outspoken individuals. Disengaged youth are unlikely to have chosen to participate in this project

opportunities fuel a sense of hope

The 2010 World Cup showed another side of SA. It erased the [negative] stereotypes [KZN, TERTIARY, F] A strong belief in the opportunities available to youth came across in many of the interviews. The negative sentiment amongst young South Africans was outweighed by a prevailing sense of hope for the future of the country. 70% of young South Africans conveyed a sense of hope about the countrys future, regardless of the criticisms stacked against it. 10% of them were outright negative and 20% came across as being uncertain and ambivalent.

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Across the three provinces, Opportunities was considered the most positive feature about South Africa. Opportunities also topped the list of positive attributes about the country for young adults (47.7%) and kids (38.3%). Becoming a doctor, buying homes, national sporting team achievements and realising their potential were the sorts of things that contributed to the potential opportunities that are available to young South Africans. Although teens were more positive about culture, diversity and the environment they were also expressed hope towards the potential opportunities. Positive Attributes (ranked) Opportunities Environment (natural) Unity Other social* Values Culture Madiba legacy Current leadership Education General Politics Family All (%) 35.5 23.9 22.5 22.5 17.4 15.9 10.9 7.2 4.3 2.2 1.4 Kids (%) 38.3 19.1 17 19.2 17 8.5 19.1 8.6 8.5 0 0 Teens (%) 21.3 29.8 19.1 21.3 14.9 23.4 10.6 6.4 4.3 4.3 4.3 Young Adults (%) 47.7 22.7 31.8 27.3 20.5 15.9 2.3 6.8 0 2.3 0

*other social includes: spirit of people, diversity, freedom of speech, equality, sport, tourism

Negative observations (ranked) Crime Education Unemployment Values Discrimination General politics Other social* Current leadership Poverty Healthcare Infrastructure Environment (natural) Police Services Other personal**

All (%) 36.2 24.6 21.7 21.0 19.6 18.1 18.1 16.7 13.8 11.6 10.1 8.7 2.9 2.2

Kids (%) 27.7 17 14.9 0 8.5 6.4 14.9 12.8 6.4 2.1 21.3 17 0 14.9

Teens (%) 48.9 19.1 27.7 21.3 19.1 17 17 21.3 19.1 21.3 8.5 6.4 8.5 4.3

Young Adults (%) 31.8 38.6 22.7 27.3 31.8 34.1 22.7 15.9 15.9 11.4 0 2.3 0 0

*other social includes: drug abuse, corruption, fraud, apartheid hangover **other personal includes: feeling disempowered, death, child/domestic abuse

discussion of key themes: madiba magic eclipses the current leadership

Young South Africans expressed high levels of nostalgia towards the countrys previous leaders and/or leadership specifically, Nelson Mandela, which was expressed across all age-groups. Primary School learners expressed the most pride towards the role Mandela played in this country. Clearly his legacy
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has meaningful impact on the lives of kids today, regardless of whether they have experienced him as president. In contrast, young adults expressed the least amount of satisfaction towards the current leadership. This could be attributed to the fact that older youth are more sensitised to current politics and more opinionated as a result. General politics was the second highest factor which received the most criticism from young adults. KwaZulu Natal 8.4 10.4 2.1 10.4 18.8 Western Cape 9.1 13.6 2.3 20.5 15.9

Political outlook Positive attributes Current leadership Madiba legacy General politics Negative observations Current leadership General politics


4.3 8.7 2.2 19.6 21.7

In contrast, the current leadership received more criticism than approval. The dominant theme here was the feeling that the government is failing to deliver on the promises it committed to deliver against. In addition, young people expressed that the government is removed from the harsh realities impacting on the rural communities. Young South Africans are taught about the meaning of democracy at school. Theyre empowered with this knowledge and theyre able to observe for themselves when these ideals arent being carried out in the communities in which they live. Although politics were ranked low across regions, more youth from the Western Cape (9.1%) reported being more positive than their Gauteng peers (4.3%) towards the current political leadership. The country is being overrun by poverty while Jacob Zuma is renovating his home [KZN, TERTIARY, M] Our lives are being destroyed by people who have too much power [GAUTENG, HIGH] People are working to better their lives, but empty promises are all theyre getting [GAUTENG, HIGH] The government is only thinking for themselves Im from a rural area and the government doesnt see whats happening [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] We dont see promises materialise You see posters for jobs but people arent qualified The Mandelas of yesteryear were very zealous and enthusiastic If we dont have that in our youth, were going toward a bleak future [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, M] In my community we share water with the cows and animals in the river and nobodys doing something about that. I wish I could see Mr Jacob Zuma and tell him something about that face-toface I wish Jacob Zuma could see this [KZN, HIGH, M]

crime, sas dark shadow

Across all the regions participating in this project, crime was ranked as the countrys biggest problem with the strongest vote coming from Gauteng youth (45%) compared with Western Cape (31.8%) and KwaZulu Natal (31.3%). Kids and Teens expressed the most concern towards crime, but amongst young adults education was considered to be more of a problem. Crime continues to be a shadow over South Africa as one young woman from KwaZulu Natal described. Many young South Africans have felt the negative impact that crime has on South Africa. From their perspective, crime is not an intrinsic characteristic of the country but rather its the symptom of a country that cannot provide adequately for all its citizens. Many of them are able to recognise

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that crime is a symptom of other issues affecting the country like unemployment and poverty. Here, they believe that the country must work together to find solutions for these problems. It is with pride that I say I live in Mzanzi. But we all know that with every adored beauty there is a dark shadow. In our country, it is crime [KZN, TERTIARY, F] People are not living freely because crime has surrounded them SA is getting rotten [GAUTENG, HIGH, M] The government is doing too little to stop crime The way to overcome crime is by educating young generations [GAUTENG, HIGH, M] [People] use crime to escape poverty crime is one of the factors that are holding the country from development The solution is to create employment [GAUTENG, HIGH, M]

we must be heard
Freedom of Expression was highlighted throughout the interviews as being a key feature of why young people consider themselves proudly South African. However, many young people described their distress towards not having the opportunity to be heard. Here, they attribute a lack of motivation amongst their peers because they dont know how to access the potential opportunities available to them. Young South Africans believe that if theyre not able realise their potential as young people, the future livelihood of their country is at stake. Women and children get raped day in and day out and treated like trash no one believes them. Its high time women stand up and take action Rape has been talked about a million times but is still committed Is it because we are not raising our voices loud enough? [GAUTENG, HIGH, F] In a land so full of potential and opportunity I dont understand why it hasnt been realised Only we are to blame for our nations failures How long will we wait and watch from the side-lines? [WC, TERTIARY, F] What have we done with this freedom? Weve become complacent and apathetic [WC, TERTIARY, F] Our problems are now our breakfast, lunch and supper [KZN, TERTIARY, F] South Africa has one of the best constitutions in the world and yet we fail to use it [KZN, TERTIARY, F] translated:[South Africa, your children sit in the dark while your leaders look away] We are still imprisoned by worldly things for example hatred, crimes and xenophobiaWhat happened to our unity? We lack originality; we fake accents and adopt lifestyles that are presented by social and media norms We can sit around and complain all day but that wouldnt change anything I want to challenge each and every one of you The Spear painting and Julius Malemas outbursts are not what need our attention so much time and energy is spent on them Poverty and the economy are what need our attention. We are so quick to harass the government but we are doing nothing about it It starts now with how we [youth] behave [WC, TERTIARY, F]

change, it starts with the youth

There is a heightened awareness among many young South Africans towards their fellow citizens perceived inability to take action to improve their circumstances because they have simply given up. Here, young South Africans believe that change and improvements cannot happen by sitting and watching from the side-lines. The youth want to receive more support and guidance in order to achieve the changes they believe are necessary to improve the country. There is an enormous
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opportunity for organisations and the private sector to step in and assist young people to recognise the potential they have to rise above their current circumstances. We easily give up because we dont have people who motivate us [KZN, HIGH, F] The biggest issue in SA youth today is motivation. Take a moment to look at ourselves [WC, TERTIARY, F] The youth of South Africa lack drive and determination and ambition translated: [SAs youth will determine the future so I wonder how SA will be in the future] Im proudly South African [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] We have the right to freedom but are we really free? A lot of opportunities have opened for us like the NYDA but were not going to them, were waiting for them to come to us We have to stand up and do things for ourselves [KZN, TERTIARY, F] It starts with the youth they dont go to school but if they knew they had opportunities Tell everyone to get up and do things for themselves [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] Dreams [of youth] are being unrecognised the government people must give us strong guidance [GAUTENG, HIGH, M] The future depends on youth [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F]

education is the key to success

Education was cited repeatedly as being crucial to ensure the future success of young South Africans. Young peoples belief in the power of education is echoed in other research conducted by HDI Youth Marketeers. According to the Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 and 2012 study, education is the number one issue that young South Africans would address if they were president. But simply going to school is not enough and many young South Africans comment on the need for better educational resources in order to perform well in school. Education ranked as the most criticised aspect of South Africa among young adults (38.6%) compared to their younger peers (teens, 19.1%; kids, 17%). Gauteng youth (34.8%) cited education as being their second highest criticism but the other regions were less critical although they did express concern (Western Cape, 29.5%; KZN, 10.4%). In a country plagued [by] discontent, the education system is failing [and] people are more concerned with differences instead of how we can help each other The youth can ease this democratic transition The worse is yet to come but I believe its always darkest before the dawn [WC, TERTIARY, F] Education is what every child needs to be successful The youth are tired of not being able to pursue their dreams They dont have anything important to do in their lives [GAUTENG, HIGH, F] If you educate everyone, everyone will have a chance to speak up [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, M] If you want to be a better person you must go to school and learn [GAUTENG, KIDS]

together, we have the power

The desire to make a difference and to find ways to work together to improve the country was a big theme. Where young South Africans see this country as flawed and imperfect they also express a deep sense of commitment to developing the country. This, they believe, can only be achieved by working together. Without a sense of unity across the country between all the different cultural groups, young South Africans believe we wont be able to achieve the countrys potential.

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Across all regions, a sense of unity featured in the top three reasons for being positive about the country and was most prominent in young adults. Unity refers broadly to young South Africas understanding of the diverse cultures within this country. Cultural unity at a societal level received more attention than unity within the family structure. Young South Africans tended to speak about the importance of a united society and didnt focus their discussions on family dynamics. Issues that threaten the prospect for unity in this country were talked about through young peoples concerns towards discrimination. Even though Apartheid no longer exists, many youth reported feeling that discrimination was still prevalent in various forms such as xenophobia, racism and sexism. For young adults, discrimination received equal mention to crime as being a problem in South Africa. The criticisms held by young South Africans were not only linked to infrastructure and policy makers but many of them felt that the values (e.g., greed, selfishness) within the South African population needed to shift before the country could move forward. We were able to stay together and rebuild this country we need to start initiating development programmes[What scares me] is that on the surface we say were building a country but were deteriorating Im proud to say Im South African but were ignoring a lot of things. Were covering up [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] If there was less of I and more of we South Africa could become a better country. We is not a foreign word because we did fight together for our freedom We have become self-centred [KZN, TERTIARY, F] Im going to make a difference [GAUTENG, HIGH, M] Im excited to be a part of this change [WC, TERTIARY, F] We are the first nation to be found[ed] for the sake of an idea we each deserve to shape and mould our own destiny. The future is ours to win But to get there, we cannot stand still When we come together as collaboration we can stand out of the crowd... [GAUTENG, HIGH, M] ...lack of accountability in government and citizens dont hold them accountable. Were alive with possibility we need to believe in the power [we have] and put it into practice [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] The country would be such a lovely place if everyone worked together [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F] South Africa is a world in one place. We should live with everyone united [GAUTENG, KIDS, M]

just do it approach
This generation of young South Africans believe that relying on the government to bring about changes is not good enough. Young people want to be taken seriously and they want to be able to make a difference. Theyre outspoken on their views that this requires them to rise above their hardships, to seek every opportunity they have to empower themselves and to take initiative. The challenge here for organisations and the private sector is to harness this optimism amongst young people and help them convert their good intentions into an action plan for change. Ultimately, the risk with young people is that their desire to achieve greatness will get displaced by disillusionment and a sense of failure that theyre not able to achieve their goals. If our leaders are corrupt who are we meant to be looking up to? Lets exercise our right and go out and scrutinize the people were voting for Lets take voting and leadership seriously and that way we can take our country seriously [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, M] We must take initiative The spirit of Ubuntu Were living individually coz if I succeed, then its fine, I dont care about my neighbour [scathing tone] [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, F]

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Everyone must try to empower themselves because there is opportunity [GAUTENG, TERTIARY, M] Id tell everyone if they face challenges, not to back down [GAUTENG, KIDS]

we [youth] must be a part of the solution

The fact that South Africa is faced with many difficulties and hardships hasnt dulled the level of hope amongst young South Africans. Many of them are still fuelled by a hearty conviction that there is still room for change as it was said by a high school learner in KwaZulu Natal. Accordingly to the most outspoken and vocal young minds (who appeared in the video interviews), these changes require young people to stand up and take action. The fact of the matter is that this country may be on the verge of going down the drain We look up to our leaders but if all they bring is deception through greed and corruption, then what meaning are they bringing to democracy [But] there is room for pure unadulterated change Think again before you undermine our country. Theres more to be said and more to be done [KZN, HIGH, M] Dont tell us were useless. Dont tell us theres no hope in our land South Africa [KZN, HIGH, M] Rise the beloved country Rise against the injustice and abuse We have risen before, let us rise once more! No excuses to say that the country lacks leadership when we are all not doing anything. We all play a part [WC, TERTIARY, M] .Politicians tend to be the most destructive and eruptive aspect of our country. We need motives and a clear vision We must not depend on our leaders. Each person must become their own hero [KZN, HIGH, F] Its not rocket science to make change. [KZN, HIGH, F] We need to have support groups on how we can support each other. People must be more concerned about their futures [KZN, TERTIARY, F] We need to become the change we want to see The youth are the future, dynamic leaders [KZN, TERTIARY, F] Our country is trying to be successful and its not stopping Were still developing [KZN, KID, M] If you want to become a better person, you better do right and follow your heart [KZN, KID, F] The youth is our future We can claim to be united and we cashed in on Ubuntu Its time to put away our selfish ways and accomplish this Ubuntu we claim to be so proud of [WC, TERTIARY, F] At the end of the day complaining doesnt help One has to be optimistic and a part of the solution [WC, TERTIARY, F] I was born in an epic era We need to stop relying on government and rely on ourselves [WC, TERTIARY, F]

Young South Africans are sharp critics. Whilst they love their country, theyre highly critical towards it and speak of their desire to create (and be a part of) change and improvements. The overriding sentiment across the interviews was that Young South Africans are highly resilient and even though they highlight many issues that negatively impact the country, they remain hopeful about the possibility to improve the situation in the future. There are many issues that threaten to erode their optimism as they become adults and it is important for organisations and the private sector to work together to assist young South Africans realise their potential.

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contact details
Jason Levin managing director t . +2711 706 6016 e. Sylwia Wierzbicki researcher t. +27 11 706-6016 c. 082 454 0066 e.

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