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South Africans willingly sacrificing human rights to Covid lockdown: poll

Research shows that 78% of the public are willing to sacrifice their human rights if it helps to control the spread of Covid-19.
Research shows that 78% of the public are willing to sacrifice their human rights if it helps to control the spread of Covid-19.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ ALAISTER RUSSELL

A vast majority of South Africans approve of President Cyril Ramaphosa's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite growing hunger, loss of human rights and anxiety.

This is according to an online multilingual Covid-19 Democracy Survey by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) conducted in April and May.

Ramaphosa's performance was rated as either very good or good by 84% of South Africans for the period April 13-May 11. His score was highest between April 27-May 11, coming in at 89%.

Three quarters (78%) of the public are willing to sacrifice their human rights if it helps to control the spread of the virus, the research shows.

Hunger has been increasing during lockdown: In the first phase of the survey (between April 13-18) 33% of the public reported going to bed hungry, and by phase 3 (April 27-May 13) this had increased to 43%.

Sixty percent of South Africans are frequently stressed and 46% are scared. About a third (33%) are depressed. As a benchmark, depression has been clinically measured at between 18% and 27% in less unusual times, so it is likely that there has been an appreciable increase, the survey authors state.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed are concerned that “the worst is yet to come” with coronavirus infections in South Africa.

This is a developing story.


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