South Africa's Happiness Soars After Election and Cabinet Announcement!
Photo Cred: Good Things Guy

South Africa’s happiness has increased significantly following the recent election and cabinet announcement, reflecting a positive shift in national sentiment and optimism for the future.

 

South Africa (03 July 2024) – South Africa’s collective sentiment and general happiness have seen a significant boost since the recent election and subsequent cabinet announcement.

Don’t believe us? Well, we have proof! Like, real data-driven proof!

The relationship between national news and public sentiment is undeniable, and we at Good Things Guy have observed this trend firsthand. When the headlines are positive, our readership surges, reflecting the nation’s uplifted spirit. Conversely, when the news takes a darker turn, our engagement drops, mirroring the country’s collective anxiety. This correlation between the news and our mental health is why the recent upward shift in the Happiness Index is so significant.

The much-anticipated announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the new Government of National Unity (GNU) Cabinet on 30 June 2024 has been met with widespread positivity.

The near real-time Happiness Index of the Gross National Happiness Index Project (GNH.today) shows a notable rise in happiness levels from 5.36 to 5.42 since the election results in June 2024. This index, measured on a scale from 0 to 10, indicates that South Africans are feeling more hopeful and content than in recent months.

South Africa's Happiness Soars After Election and Cabinet Announcement!
Photo Cred: UJ

In the May 2024 elections, the African National Congress (ANC) lost its outright majority, leading to the formation of a coalition government comprising eleven political parties. This GNU represents almost 80 percent of the votes cast, ensuring broad representation and a strong mandate to govern. This inclusive approach has fostered higher levels of transparency, accountability, and trust in the government, which in turn, has positively impacted the nation’s happiness.

Analysing the Happiness Index, the GNH.today team found an increase in positive emotion words like “hope,” “happiness,” and “joy.” Although there has also been a rise in negative words such as “bad” and “afraid,” the overall effect remains positive.

This blend of emotions reflects the nation’s debate around the newly appointed cabinet, with critiques of portfolio allocations and the increased size of the government balanced by relief and optimism following the conclusion of lengthy negotiations.

The upward trend in happiness is also mirrored in a stronger Rand, signalling increased international confidence in South Africa’s future. This economic indicator highlights the broader impact of the positive political changes on the country’s overall well-being.

The GNH.today project, which measures happiness based on specific emotion words used in Google searches, has been a groundbreaking endeavour since its launch in April 2019 by Prof Talita Greyling (University of Johannesburg), Dr Stephanie Rossouw (Auckland University of Technology), and Afstereo. Despite the abrupt end of the initial project due to changes at X (formerly Twitter), the team has successfully pivoted to using Google search data. This new approach has been presented at global forums and received acclaim as a robust measure of happiness.

Further cementing their contributions to well-being research, Prof Talita Greyling and Dr Stephanie Rossouw received an International Award at the International Conference for Quality-of-Life Studies in Malaysia on 28 June 2024. Their innovative work continues to shine a light on the importance of happiness and quality of life in our ever-evolving world.

In these times of change, South Africa’s rising happiness levels are a promising sign of hope and resilience. With a stronger sense of unity and a government that reflects the diverse voices of its people, the nation is poised for a brighter and more inclusive future.

Here’s to more good news and a happier South Africa!

South Africa's Happiness Soars After Election and Cabinet Announcement!
Photo Cred: Good Things Guy

Sources: UJ | GNH. today project 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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