Zuma’s popularity on a steady decline

By Drum Digital
15 December 2015

By Ayanda Sithole

President Zuma’s popularity amongst South Africans is on the decline, according to statistical information released by market and opinion research Company Ipsos.

Ipsos is a Government Performance Barometer which measures public perceptions about the performance of key leaders and institutions every six months.

Recently, a total of 3 617 randomly chosen adult South Africans were interviewed in their homes and home languages.

On a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 means totally in favour and 0 means totally against, President Zuma scored 5,5 in May 2015 compared to 5,2 in November 2015.

Ipsos compared Zuma’s popularity against that of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene after he was removed as finance minister and replaced by the largely unknown David van Rooyen, who was then replaced with former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The barometer shows that Nene has a lower favourability rating overall than president Zuma, however, this was expected as he only started in the position of minister of finance in May 2014 thus South Africans were taking some time to get to know him.

On a scale of 0 to 10 Nene measured at 3,9 in May 2015 and his favourability rating increased to 4,1 by November 2015

When asked “How well do you think President Zuma is doing his job?” the barometer showed that South Africans have expressed the same trends as with the favourability ratings.

Less than half of adult South Africans believe that President Zuma is doing his job very or fairly well.

In May 2015, 48 % of adult South Africans were of the opinion that the president was doing his job very or fairly well, however, the recent November 2015 findings show that 46 % of adult South Africans share the same sentiment, a decrease by 2 %

Furthermore, 40 % of adult South Africans have indicated that they think the right people are appointed to lead government departments and agencies – this is down three percentage points from 43 % in May 2015.

In the area of “trust” which is seen as the most important indicator of reputation, trust was measured on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 signifying perfect reputation.

The barometer shows that Zuma has the lowest level of trust amongst selected and measured government related departments, agencies, parastatals and personalities.

Zuma scored at 53,1 % while the South African Social Security Agency scored highest at 69,1%

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