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NATIONAL: Racism is affecting everyone in South Africa

It has dominated headlines over the past few months and parliament has recently debated racism and its impact on the future of the country.

The African Racism Network of South Africa (Arnsa), the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have combined forces to campaign against racism and have initiated various events during Anti-Racism Week, celebrated this week.

The idea is to create a broader public awareness of racism and how it affects individuals and how good practices can prevent, reduce and eradicate it in society.

Arnsa is a national social movement of organisations working with its mission to, among others, influence policy and decision-making in South Africa, redress the negative consequences of racism and all forms of discrimination and to create space for dialogue and conversations for internetwork learning.

The first Anti-Racism Week (March 14 to 21) will raise the status of anti-racism in the national conversation and bring together like-minded individuals who can influence their communities and mobilise individuals who would otherwise not focus on questions of racism and its effect and uses.

The Institute of Justice and Reconciliation has recently published statistics about the state of racism in the country. The different race groups have overwhelmingly responded that race relations have worsened since 1994 with 59,8 per cent of blacks, 67 per cent of whites, 63,1 per cent of Indians and 63,1 per cent of coloureds agreeing with the statement.

The study also pointed out that different groups do not often interact with one another on social levels but that the trend has been changing in the higher living standards measure groups. Yet, according to the study there is a desire for more interaction in different social settings.

Trust relationships remain a challenge with 68,9 per cent of blacks, 58,6 per cent of whites, 67,6 per cent of Indians and 62,9 per cent of coloureds responding that they have little to no trust in other racial groups.

Language still seems to strengthen common interest with 31,6 per cent of respondents saying they associate more with people of the same language, 23,7 per cent of the same racial group, 13,4 per cent of the same economic class, 5,2 per cent of the same political party and 12,7 per cent primarily South African.

But, 71 per cent of respondents said a united SA was desirable and 64,6 per cent said it was possible to achieve.

Caxton Local Newspapers has committed itself to spread a message of anti-racism and will cover various topics on the issue in the next few editions of the group’s newspapers.

Follow the #TakeOnRacism and feel free to interact with the newspapers and online platforms if you can contribute to a better society.

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