President Jacob Zuma’s popularity is plummeting in South Africa’s metros, TNS research has found. This continues 2014’s downward trend, with only 33% who believe the president is doing a good job, dropping from 37% in November 2014..
TNS said the numbers differ when it comes to race and area with 43% of black people saying that the president is doing a good job versus 11% of white people, 11% of coloured people and 18% of Asian people. In 2014, 48% of black people agreed with the statement, which means there was a 5% drop in support from this group. Economic wellbeing had an impact with 11% of LSM 10 compared to 42% of LSM 6 agreeing that the president is doing a good job.
But TNS found that although the sentiment towards South Africa’s leadership is largely negative, many South Africans remain positive about the country. While 14% are thinking of leaving the country, 61% believe that South Africa is a winning nation and 63% feel that South Africa will overcome the current challenges it faces.
However, the views also differ by race, with 43% of white people and 67% of black people thinking South Africa is a winning nation. That said, 71% believe that they can make a positive contribution to the future of South Africa.
“What is encouraging is that 87% are proud to be South African,” TNS reported. “However, 76% of the people interviewed are worried that the general condition of the country is deteriorating. Over half are concerned that the country is heading towards a social and economic collapse.
“This concern, in particular, resonates more with individuals of a higher LSM; over 60% of those in LSM 9 to 10 are concerned and 61% of those aged 25 to 34 years. Also, 44% of whites do not feel positive about South Africa and its future compared to 15% of black people, 38% of coloured people and 27% of Asian people,” the research agency reported.
Residents of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape are the least approving, with 13% and 16% respectively. Even in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, the president’s numbers have dropped from 66% in November 2014 to 54% now believing that he is doing a good job.
The research, conducted among 2000 adults (age 18+) between February and March 2015, in the seven major metropolitan areas, revealed that age also has an influence on how people viewed the president: 53% of those aged 18 to 24 years old felt that Zuma is not doing a good job as president versus 64% of those aged 50 years and older who share the same sentiment.
Not surprisingly, Zulu speakers are more likely to agree that the president is doing a good job, with 58% saying he is doing a good job versus 15% of English, 8% of Afrikaans, 30% of Xhosa, 32% of Sotho and 38% of Tswana speakers.
The survey also asked respondents what their thoughts are about the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa. A third of the people said they ‘don’t know’ whether he would make a good president while 38% think he would. Black people are the most positive at 47%, with white people at 21%, Asian people at 18% and coloured people at 17%. People in Cape Town (19%) and the Eastern Cape (21%) were less positive in their belief that he would make a good president.
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