South Africa is currently facing a dire financial situation, with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) predicting a meagre 0.3% growth for 2023. But South Africans still maintain a positive outlook.
According to the Ford Motor Company 11th annual Trends report, an ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ sentiment remains among surveyors, despite national and global economic headwinds.
16,200 online interviews across six countries were part of Ford’s Trend report. The survey explores various themes, including facing fears, escapism, and taking a stand on certain issues. The survey analysed consumer preferences and behaviours in response to environmental changes.
One insight suggests that “the participants of the survey believe society will be stronger in five years. Consumers have not given up on the notion of a ‘happily ever after’ but for now, they will gladly settle for some silver linings wherever they can find them,” says Jen Brace, Ford’s Global Trends and Futuring Team.
In the report, 65% of South Africans said that they had lost faith in political structures, and 57% were sceptical of the nation’s financial systems.
While 88% of consumers said that inflation and high prices were their biggest fears. Despite rising electricity costs and the ongoing load shedding, 66% of South Africans remain hopeful that the current financial situation will improve throughout 2023.
More South Africans are also trying to take a stand on societal issues.
82% of South Africans believe that more is being done to cause division in South Africa instead of uniting it
The report said that political protests have led to consumer boycotts, especially towards brands that are neutral on social and environmental problems.
89% of South African respondents said that companies should take greater accountability for environmental and humanitarian issues.
Cautious optimism and the road to joy
81% of South Africans said that they believe they can make a positive impact on the world, while 86% believe that they can achieve the vision that they have for their lives.
Millennials were the generation with the most positive self-belief. 90% of South African respondents also said that their parts mistakes did not define them but were rather opportunities for growth.
In addition, 83% of South African respondents said that they try to look for joy in the mundane parts of their lives, whether it is simply listening to a song on the radio.
South Africans are thus seeking positivity in their daily lives amid growing uncertainty.
Although South Africans have cautious optimism, they can expect a tough 2023, with constant load shedding and inflation expected to remain high.