Will the ANC lose three metros?

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X MARKS THE SPOT South Africans go to the polls on August 3 to vote for local government. Picture: Cornel van Heerden
X MARKS THE SPOT South Africans go to the polls on August 3 to vote for local government. Picture: Cornel van Heerden

An eNCA/Ipsos poll that shows the ANC losing voters’ support has been dismissed by the governing party as unrepresentative, while the DA has welcomed it as proof that it is growing.

According to the poll, the governing party is losing support in all of the three metros polled in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth.

Analysts believe that the ANC’s support will increase after it announces its candidates and as the election date, August 3, approaches.

What will also influence the final outcome is that 9% of respondents refused to answer while 10% said they were undecided.

Ipsos director Mari Harris also said the figures could change towards election time as a lot of people only make up their minds just before voting.

The poll shows that the ANC could lose Tshwane Metro and will be neck and neck with the DA in Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

Only 31% of people polled in Johannesburg indicated they would vote for the ANC this year, as compared to 42% in 2014. Support for the DA stood at 29%, while the EFF had 10% support.

In Tshwane, the capital city, the DA polled 33% while the ANC only got 28%. The EFF stood at 10%.

In Nelson Mandela Bay metro, which the DA has vowed to take, 34 percent of people say they plan to vote for the DA compared to 30% of people who say they will vote for the ANC.

Analysing the poll, the University of Johannesburg’s Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana said the survey outcome was not surprising as the ANC in Nelson Mandela had been in shambles while Tshwane municipality had been embroiled in several public scandals.

“But these results are good for the ANC indirectly. They were polling parties and not individuals.

The ANC has been discredited in PE as a brand. It has tarnished itself. If you ask residents to choose [between the] ANC and DA, most would go for the DA, because the ANC brand has taken a serious pounding over the past few years,” said Ndletyana.

“But if you had to substitute parties, [Port Elizabeth mayor Danny] Jordaan would emerge stronger than [DA candidate] Atholl Trollip. As a person, Jordaan came in with a bit of credibility and as mayor has done well in terms of visibility and attending to problems.

Things will improve for the ANC once they officially nominate Danny Jordaan and he becomes the face of the ANC campaign.

“The DA has a good chance in Tshwane because the meter-reading scandal, along with other scandals, meant that mayor Kgosientso ‘Sputla’ Ramokgopa hasn’t been able to turn things around there.”

Ndletyana said Ramokgopa had been distracted by scandals and infighting in Tshwane. “It is far more vulnerable than Johannesburg. I would bet in favour of mayor Parks Tau [staying] in Johannesburg. But the EFF may do a lot better in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Buffalo City.”

DA mayoral candidate in Tshwane Solly Msimanga said the survey was good news for the party but also an incentive to reinforce its campaign.

He said the survey confirmed what internal polls had been revealing to the DA – initially it appeared the Tshwane metro was headed to a coalition government, but he wanted to do it on his own. “I want to win this thing outright,” he said.

Msimanga said polling was important because it helped to test the party’s messaging as well as to establish voters’ perceptions of the party.

The ANC leadership this week descended on Tshwane in numbers, going from home to home to woo voters.

Herman Mashaba, DA mayoral candidate, said: “This survey without a doubt confirms what I have been saying throughout. I have been saying that people are tired of corruption and ready to choose the DA.”

Musa Novela, EFF Johannesburg leader, said the EFF would perform better than predicted. “We are in it to win it. Over the coming weeks we are going to triple our efforts. We will be going from door to door, to person to person on the ground.”

But the ANC said it was unperturbed by the surveys, which made similar predictions in 2011 local government elections, only to be proved otherwise.

Gift Ngqondi, Nelson Mandela Bay regional spokesperson for the ANC, said the surveys mostly targeted people with access to technology whereas most of the ruling party voters did not have access to it.

“We have the advantage of the Danny Jordaan factor, which finds resonance in the coloured communities, which used to be DA stronghold. We are making inroads in areas such as Gelvandale, Helenvale, Korsten, Arcadia, which used to vote for DA,” he said.

He said they were not worried about the survey as it did not reflect the views of the people on the ground, who have indicated they will vote ANC.

Ngqondi said the ANC expected to win with a majority of 55% in the metro and reclaim some of the wards they previously lost to the DA.

Ipsos director Mari Harris said the issue that always came up in these surveys was unemployment.

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