Zuma's approval ratings at 48%

By Drum Digital
25 September 2012

President Jacob Zuma's approval ratings in major metropolitan areas have stabilised at 48 percent, according to a survey conducted by market research company TNS and released on Tuesday.

"The president's approval rating in metro areas in the first two weeks of August 2012 stood at 48 percent," TNS said in a statement.

"This compares with 55 percent in February, 46 percent in mid-April and 51 percent in a smaller survey in July."

The survey was conducted among 2000 adults from the seven major metropolitan areas in South Africa, interviewed face to face. The margin of error for the survey was less than 2.5 percent.

A survey conducted in July was a smaller, cellphone study of 200 people in metro areas, with a margin of error of less than seven percent.

Approval levels differed considerably by population group.

Blacks had an approval level of 62 percent, whites 24 percent, coloureds 19 percent, and Indians and Asians 23 percent.

These were similar the figures in the April survey.

"There is no difference by gender," TNS said.

"Younger people are more positive, but this largely correlates with the age profiles of the different race groups."

People whose home language was isiZulu, gave Zuma the highest ratings at 71 percent.

English and Afrikaans speakers averaged 24 percent, and other language groups averaged 55 percent.

By contrast, the approval rating of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in August was 51 percent, with 34 percent being negative and 16 percent giving a "don't know" responses. This compared with 49 percent in April.

This indicated Motlanthe had maintained a small lead from April to August.

In August, whites, Coloureds, Indians and Asians averaged 23 percent approval ratings. Among black people, 65 percent approved of Motlanthe.

Higher approval levels came from those aged 25 to 34 years (58 percent) and the lowest from those aged 50 to 60 years (39 percent).

No gender differences were evident.

"All black language groups evince essentially the same approval level of 65 percent," TNS said. "This is the same as in April."

However, approval rates had risen among whites, Indians and Asians.

In metro areas, 32 percent said Zuma should have a second term as president, with 55 percent disagreeing and 13 percent giving a "don't know" response.

A total of 39 percent said Motlanthe should be the next president, with 40 percent disagreeing and 27 percent giving a "don't know" response.

While age and gender differences were small, a breakdown by population group showed Motlanthe's lead came largely from the black metro population:

In Soweto, Zuma's 48 percent approval rating was the lowest since he assumed office.

In Port Elizabeth, the figure of 30 percent was also an all-time low.

However, he had regained some traction in Durban.

Motlanthe showed gains on the West Rand and in Pretoria, and in Durban and Port Elizabeth.

He showed higher approval ratings than Zuma in Gauteng (especially Soweto and Pretoria) and the Eastern Cape, but was lower in Durban.

In terms of presidential choice, Motlanthe was ahead of Zuma in many parts of Gauteng, especially Soweto, the South Rand/Vaal Triangle and Pretoria, and the Eastern Cape. However, Zuma was ahead in Durban.

Zuma was also ahead among isiZulu home speakers, at 52 percent, but was well behind among all other black language groups.

Zuma scored 22 percent among isiXhosa speakers, while Motlanthe scored 46 percent.

He had the support of 40 percent of SeSotho speakers, against Motlanthe's 59 percent.

Zuma polled only 40 percent among Setswana and other language speakers, while Motlanthe polled 54 percent.

Overall 47 percent of metro dwellers agreed that Helen Zille was doing a good job as Western Cape premier.

Only 35 percent of blacks agreed, but 74 percent of whites, 71 percent of Coloureds, and 49 percent of Indians/Asians agreed.

In Cape Town, 68 percent of metro dwellers agreed she was doing a good job, including 41 percent of blacks, 89 percent of whites, and 76 percent of Coloureds.

"Whilst Mr Zuma's and Mr Motlanthe's approval levels are very similar, the deputy president has maintained a small lead for the last six months," TNS said.

This small lead occurred across all race groups.

"However, in terms of presidential choice, the gap between the two men is somewhat wider, with strong regional and language differences, not surprisingly, being evident."

Among black metro dwellers, Motlanthe had a majority of support, especially in Soweto.

But, for all questions, the percentage of people giving a "don't know" response was higher for Motlanthe.

This meant people were less sure of him, said TNS.

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