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Study: Nene’s popularity grows as Zuma’s declines

An Ipsos study has revealed an increase in the former finance minister’s popularity since his sacking.

FILE. Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Market and opinion research company Ipsos says its bi-annual government performance barometer has shown that the popularity of President Jacob Zuma is on the decline.

The study has also noted an increase in the popularity of axed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The barometer, which was released today, surveyed satisfaction levels of more than 3,000 individuals across the country.

On a scale of zero to 10, the president's popularity score sits at 5.2, the lowest since before his appointment as African National Congress president in 2007.

While Nene's popularity has only been measured over one year, it has seen a significant improvement, now sitting at 4.1.

Ipsos spokesperson Mari Harris says economic factors are mostly behind the fluctuations.

"We asked people what the biggest problem is in the country and they have always indicated that joblessness and the creation of jobs is the biggest problem in South Africa. Over the last number of years, the economy has really become a big issue for most South Africans."

At the same time, the Ipsos a study has shown that only four in every 10 South African's believe the right people are appointed to lead government departments.

The government performance barometer has revealed that 46 percent of South Africans believe that Zuma is doing his job fairly well.

But the president still has the lowest trust levels, followed by Eskom, local municipalities and Parliament.

Harris says the president is also losing favour among ANC supporters.

"If we look specifically at the findings from ANC supporters, the president's popularity also diminished since May to November this year… So it's not only the opposition parties."