Proud Democrats: Infographic, Narrative & Methodology


The “Proud Democrats” is the last, but definitely not least, of the groups to be explored in Brand South Africa’s behavioural group series. As their name suggests, the Proud Democrats’ national pride is shaped by their belief in democracy and related principles. Without democracy, this group feels that freedom would be lost, and the nature of people’s interactions would change. More than any other group, they fear that the erosion of democracy may result in a society, once again, resembling Apartheid South Africa where political leadership abuses their power. The strong belief in democratic principles does not translate into a strong sense of national pride or active citizenship. While this group shows a sense of appreciation for the level of democracy in South Africa, it does not see the current government and political parties as constructive drivers of democracy.

On an individual level, Proud Democrats are reluctant to participate in community activism, in electoral politics, or to discuss politics with others. In contrast, this group still believes others should vote in order to hold the government accountable. Proud Democrats do display pride in South Africa’s history and liberation struggle, but over the years their reduced confidence in the functioning of democracy has culminated into a disillusionment with the current state of affairs. They represent very low trust in government and political parties, with 57% and 49% of this group who displays trust in government and political parties. Support for the private sector is significantly higher at 69% of the group. This group is one of the lowest when it comes to being proudly South African at 59% of the group, but does not compare to the Positive Enablers who are 43% Proudly South African.

Their withdrawal from political participation is parallel to a reduction in their social cohesion. Their limited community activism or political participation shows that their appreciation for democracy in South Africa rests on their enjoyment of personal freedoms, and their ability to enjoy their democratic rights as citizens.  In fact, this group display low involvement in community activism, and no longer practically apply their convictions in democratic principles as actively as they may have in the past. This group has the view that the enjoyment of individual freedoms and democracy in South Africa has not necessarily translated into a more Ubuntu-minded nation. Unlike the vibrant political discussions of the Independent Humanists, or the passionate engagements on South Africa’s state of affairs by the Celebrators of Achievement, Proud Democrats prefer not to engage with fellow South Africans on political affairs.

This group’s feelings of not having access to the economy exacerbates their feelings of marginalisation and disillusionment. The Proud Democrats average monthly gross personal income is R5 902, slightly lower than the national average. The increased average monthly household income, at R 13 163, presents the strong personal support network this group enjoys. The 45 and older age category is identified as the most prominent age group at 32% of the group.

Proud Democrats are strongly represented in Gauteng (26%) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), but in comparison to other groups, the representation in KZN is notably high. This striking representation in KZN also explains this groups strong support for the ANC. 81% of this group are represented by black people and 3% Indian people, with lower than average support by Coloured people (6%) and White people (10%).

Behavioural Group Research Methodology

Survey classification Description
Research conducted by African Response and MarkData
Confidentiality Respondent information is kept confidential and in line with ESOMAR Code of Conduct practices
Survey dates The survey was administered between October and November 2019
Sample size n = 2 500, a final sample of 2 506 realised
Sample selection Multi-staged stratified random design using StastSA 2018 mid-year population estimates
Margin of error 0.097 at 95% confidence level
Data collection methodology Face-to-face in-home interviews on Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) devices
Weighting of data Weighted, using RIM weight methodology. Weight efficiency was 87%
Reporting Weighted, percentages are rounded


Brand South Africa’s Research Notes and Research Reports communicate findings from Brand South Africa research and related panel discussions. The Research Notes and Reports are intended to elicit comments, contribute to debate, and inform stakeholders about trends and issues that impact on South Africa’s reputation and overall competitiveness. Views expressed in Research Notes are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of Brand South Africa, or the Government of the Republic of South Africa. Every precaution is taken to ensure the accuracy of information. However, Brand South Africa shall not be liable to any person for inaccurate information or opinions contained herein.

Contact: Dr. Petrus de Kock, Brand South Africa, General Manager – Research +27 11 –712 5000