The majority of registered voters in South Africa feel the general elections will be free and fair, according to the latest results by market research company, Ipsos.
This is South Africa's sixth democratic elections. On Monday, special votes were cast and will continue on Tuesday with the main voting day on Wednesday, May 8.
Notable persons who cast their special votes on Monday included Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, several government ministers as well as the elderly, heavily pregnant women, people with disabilities and those who cannot physically leave their homes.
In their latest report, Ipsos conducted fieldwork between March 22 and April 17 in which a total of 3 600 in-home face-to-face interviews were conducted.
"When asked whether elections in South Africa are free and fair, 61% of registered voters agreed, while 20% disagreed. A further 19% neither agreed nor disagreed or indicated that they did not know," the report noted.
"Looking at the opinions of registered voters in each of the provinces, it is very interesting that the highest level of trust in the integrity of elections is expressed by registered voters in the Western Cape, the only province currently under the control of an opposition party."
Sixty-six percent of people in the Western Cape said they had trust that elections were free and fair, while the lowest number was in the Northern Cape, with 41%.
Work cut out
Ipsos also conducted a study looking at popular opinion among the three major political parties in the country – the ANC, DA and EFF.
In their conclusion, based on their interviews, the report noted that since the previous national elections in 2014 "the ruling party has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons: Nkandla, the Gupta scandal, allegations of corruption and state capture and many more".
"The ruling party will have its work cut out after the election to address these issues, not only among all South Africans, but also amongst its own supporters," the report noted.
More talk than action
On the DA, more than half of registered voters feel that this party is more about talk than action.
According to the report, "DA supporters are divided about the issue of leadership issues in the party – an opinion like this can hurt the party".
Turning to the EFF, Ipsos noted that "over time many South Africans have indicated that they do find EFF policies too radical and the party was the focus of much critique after regularly disrupting the order in Parliament, especially during the State of the Nation addresses of ex-president (Jacob) Zuma or his other appearances in Parliament".
According to the data collected the report notes "six in every ten registered voters have similarly strong opinions about the EFF's more radical role and participation in the South African democracy".