This study investigated how far the post-apartheid government has progressed in creating a better life for all South Africans. Secondary data analysis was employed using the 2008 South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) of 3321 randomly selected adult respondents. A series of general linear models examined the impact of race, gender, age, geographic location, education level, living standard measure (LSM), satisfaction with basic services, and fear of crime on quality of life (QOL) as measured respectively by subjective well-being indicators, namely happiness, life-satisfaction and optimism.1 The main findings were that: 1) Those respondents who feared crime less, had higher LSM levels, and were satisfied with basic services reported higher levels of happiness. 2) Those respondents who had a higher LSM, feared crime less, and were more satisfied with the basic services reported higher life-satisfaction. 3) Those respondents who were black African with lower levels of education, feared crime less, and were most satisfied with basic services displayed the most optimism about the future. We concluded that government interventions need to focus more on black Africans, the least educated, the low LSM group, those living in the urban informal areas, and those who fear crime to significantly improve South Africans' QOL.