Zuma support among youth at all-time low - survey

2013-09-17 13:16
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Support for President Jacob Zuma reached an all-time low among the youth this month, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Conducted by Pondering Panda, the study found that 31% of 2 388 people questioned felt Zuma was doing a good job as president.

In April it was 37%.

"President Zuma’s support has taken a big hit in the last five months, with less than a third of young South Africans now feeling he’s doing a good job of running the country," Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said.

The Gupta wedding scandal, criticism from opposition parties like Agang SA and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the fact that Marikana was still in the news, were some of the reasons for this.

"According to the latest survey, young black South Africans were the most likely to approve of the president's performance, with 35% giving him the thumbs-up.

"In contrast, only 17% of whites and 13% of coloureds thought he was doing a good job of running the country."

Zuma lost support among blacks and coloureds. His approval rating remained unchanged among white youth compared to the April survey.

Across the country

There were differences according to province.

"Respondents from KwaZulu-Natal were the most positive, but this was also where Zuma saw the biggest drop in support, from 57% in April to 48% in September," said Wakefield.

"The Western Cape and Gauteng were the most negative, with only 19% and 23% of respondents from these regions respectively feeling that Zuma was doing a good job."

The Free State was the only province where the president’s support grew, from 33% in April to 38% in September.

The survey showed a significant level of disillusionment with the political process. It also appeared to be an indictment of Zuma's perceived ability as president, Wakefield said.

With next year’s elections approaching, Zuma would need to focus more on appealing to young people for his candidacy not to have a negative impact on the ANC at the polls, Wakefield said.

The respondents were aged between 18 and 34, and were interviewed on their cellphones across South Africa, excluding deep rural areas, between 3 and 10 September.

Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender, and race.

Read more on:    pondering panda  |  agang sa  |  anc  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014  |  politics

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