Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

30 July 2014

South Africa: The Other State of the Nation - Actually, a Good Story to Tell

analysis

Away from the sound and fury of political rhetoric and point scoring there is a different, and - believe it or not - good story to tell about South Africa's nine million economically active citizens. Apart from being less concerned with race, all of them are educated, a lot are between 25 and 35, are optimistic about the future, own their own homes and will create wealth through a job in the corporate sector.

If SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, is looking for a real good news story, he'd best abandon political coverage and send forth his news teams into the homes and offices of the country's middle classes - a group of around nine million economically active South Africans - whose habits, dreams and aspirations provide a much more optimistic snapshot of the state of the nation.

Since 2004, the black middle class in South Africa has grown phenomenally from 1.4 million to just over 4.2 million, a graph that the country's researchers, while everyone agrees the country is still hugely unequal, are saying is one of the most important indicators over the past 10 years.

Overall the country is growing an increasingly "non-racial" middle class with...

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