Poll shows Zuma govt is losing support

2014-02-18 00:00

THE number of South Africans who believe the country is on the right track has declined considerably since President Jacob Zuma was inaugurated as president.

Only a third of South Africans currently believe the country is on course.

This is according to an opinion survey by research company Ipsos, which has since 2009 conducted an opinion poll every six months among South Africans.

The latest Ipsos results from 3 564 residents in South Africa showed 34% believe South Africa is heading in the right direction while 48% believe the country is off course and 18% were unsure.

This is considerably lower than the 56%, who said in 2009 that the country was heading in the right direction.

Mari Harris, a director of ­Ipsos-Markinor, said the latest numbers were an important indication of the sentiment in the country.

She said the number of South Africans who believed the country was moving in the right direction had been gradually decreasing over the past five years since the previous elections.

She said there was also unhappiness about the policy direction taken by the ANC government.

In 22 of the 25 policy areas that were tested, half or fewer of the respondents said the government was doing well or very well.

Amid all this apparent pessimism among South Africans, Dr Jakkie Cilliers, executive director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), said in Cape Town yesterday South Africans were often unnecessarily negative.

“In the run-up to elections people often get swept up. We think things are going badly.

“We are in general an unhappy nation. We complain, we moan, we set fire to things if we don’t get our way.”

Cilliers said South Africa was doing a lot better than 20 years ago.

He talked about three possible scenarios for South Africa in 2030.

Although some scenarios are more positive than others and one of the scenarios could result in instability, the economy would continue to grow at between 2,6 and 5,1% regardless of what happens, he predicted.

“There is no scenario that indicates economic decline. He said regarding development, South Africa’s enjoyed an advantageous population composition. “If the rest of the world’s economy grows, our economy will grow.

“We are not doing badly, but we can do better,” he said.

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