Against what is obtainable in most democratically developed countries, SA democracy is largely believed to be governed by a few and for the benefit of  the few.

This is according to a new nine-country survey by Washington-based Pew Research Centre which found a common perception on how the SA government is run.

The research center said concerning the SA democracy signs of political discontent are increasingly common both in emerging democracies and more mature democracies that have faced economic challenges.

In eight of nine nations included in the new survey‚ more than half of respondents say government is run for the benefit of only a few groups in society‚ not for all people, the research center reportedly noted.

According to reports, South Africans are likely to believe the government is run for the benefit of the few. SA citizens who are under the category of those with secondary education or more believe government is run for the benefit of a few groups (81% vs. 63% of those with less than a secondary education)‚ while a few others believe ordinary citizens are more likely to influence the government (68% vs. 58%).

This research finding came at a time South Africa battles with controversial issues including the alleged state capture by a few politically influential citizens, growing corruption and financial back lash facing the country.

The research said the skeptical outlook on government does not mean people have given up on democracy or the ability of average citizens to have an impact on how the country is run.

The group noted in its findings that ordinary citizens in South Africa and other developing countries can have a lot of influence on government if they are willing to make the effort.