South Africans still favour Ramaphosa, Malema not so much, survey finds

The latest South African Citizens Survey (SACS) reveals that favourability ratings of prominent political figures have declined.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives outside Luthuli House where the ANC held a post-election celebration. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa still enjoys the highest favourability rating among South Africans compared to other politicians, according to a poll.

The latest South African Citizens Survey (SACS) reveals, however, that favourability ratings of prominent political figures have declined.

EFF leader Julius Malema’s favourability fell 5% from the 2018 Q4 high of 30% to 25% in the second quarter of 2019. Over the same period, DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s favourability dropped from 29% to 28%.

The research found Malema’s Q2 2019 favourability rating was 1% lower than that of former president Jacob Zuma upon his resignation in Q1 of 2018, which was 26%.

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%.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan dominated headlines in July during his public legal battle against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and his favourability dropped from 31% in June to a low of 26% in July.

However, Gordhan is still favoured higher than Deputy President David Mabuza, whose favourability also fell by 5% from 26% in June to 21% in July.

Last in line was ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who scored the lowest favourability amongst the ANC leadership, having declined from 16% in June to only 11% in July.

Reza Omar, the strategic research director at Citizen Surveys, in a statement said the findings indicated that South Africans have lost confidence in the ruling party.

“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 has clearly indicated that the in-fighting and ongoing public court battles are reducing their confidence in the ruling party.”

The South African Citizen Survey (SACS) is a monthly tracking study, which is based on face-to-face interviews with a nationally-representative sample of 3,900 respondents per quarter. It covers a variety of topics that map attitudes and opinions in the country across politics, economics, social issues, food security and more.