In a 2017 Ipsos MORI detailed survey of 26,489 people across 28 countries, South Africans scored high in pessimism and low in their knowledge of actual facts they based their pessimism on. Most South Africans can share personal stories of expressing and experiencing this pessimism.
Max Roser explains “This pessimism about what is possible for the world matters politically. Those who don’t expect that things get better in the first place will be less likely to demand actions that can bring positive developments about. The few optimists on the other hand will want to see the necessary changes for the improvements they are expecting.” 
There is a definite need for optimism in South Africa if we want to see some progress in our ongoing battles with inequality, poverty, gender-based violence and crime.