Public confidence in the ruling ANC may be diminishing due to ongoing battles, however, according to the latest South African Citizens Survey, President Cyril Ramaphosa still continues to enjoy high favourability among the country’s citizens.
In the study conducted between April and June 2019, the survey reveals that, despite the controversies surrounding Ramaphosa’s R500 000 Bosasa campaign donation, the president has managed to receive the highest favourability ratings.
The findings by the marketing and social research consultancy, which specialises in national research studies, were released on Tuesday and showed that Ramaphosa’s appeal has seen a steady growth from 55% in 2018 to 62%.
Prior to the May general elections, Ramaphosa received a 7% increase, giving him a high favourability score of 62% since becoming president.
The research shows that at the height of “Ramaphoria” during the second quarter of 2018, the president’s favourability ratings was at an all-time high of 64%.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni enjoyed the second-highest favourability rating of 35% in June, which subsequently dropped by a large 6% in July to 29%.
The May general elections, however, revealed the growing effects of discontent with the ruling party and the ANC received an all-time low 58% since the party’s first election in 1994.
This has also been evident in the recent survey which also showed a compelling drop among those in the ANC top brass. The monthly data shows some significant drops (5% on average) in their favourability ratings between the months of June and July 2019, specifically.
Among those who have registered a drop in favourability is Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who saw a 5% decrease in his ratings after dominating the headlines in June and July with his challenge against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
“Considering how Gordhan dominated headlines in July during his public legal battle against Mkhwebane, it’s little surprise to see his favourability drop from 31% in June to a low of 26% in July,” the survey read.
Citizen Surveys strategic research director, Reza Omar, said the results of this survey should be concerning to the ANC.
“The significant drop in favourability ratings among the ANC top brass of 5% in only one month should raise concern in the party. The South African public have clearly indicated that the infighting and ongoing public court battles are reducing their confidence in the ruling party,” Omar said.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has the lowest favourability among the ANC top brass, having declined from 16% in June to only 11% in July.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s favourability has dropped from 30% that he had in 2018 to 25%. The survey compares Malema’s rating with former president Jacob Zuma’s rating before he resigned from his position in 2018 – which was 26%.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has shown a stable rating of 28%, not a major decrease.