Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

What worries South Africans and who should be in charge?

In October 2018 and February 2019 AFRIC has conducted a series of surveys in the Republic of South Africa that included quantitative and qualitative studies (polls, focus groups, expert interviews). The polls have been taking place from 11 to 20 October 2018 (2249 respondents) and from January 29 to February 8 2019 (1501 respondents). In February 2018 the research was conducted among the citizens of the RSA over 18 years of age who are registered voters, using individual formalized interviews method in all of the 9 provinces of the country. The samples were based on quota limits (gender, age, and ethnic group) that correspond to the demographic characteristics of the RSA citizens.

According to the survey results, improvements in the country were noted by 27.3% of respondents, for instance, 63.3% of respondents noted a decrease in fuel prices over the past months. The main problems that need to be addressed are: unemployment, corruption, crime, drug and alcohol abuse and poverty.

75.5% of respondents registered as voters expressed the desire to vote at the National elections in 2019.

Attitudes towards the main political parties:

  • The largest number of respondents have positively rated the activities of the ANC party – 59.9%. Party preferences do not differ much across gender and age groups. Most of the respondents, regardless of those characteristics have expressed their support for the ANC.
  • According to the respondents, the main achievements of the ANC during the past several years are: New initiatives to support business and develop the local economy; Anti-corruption policies; new taxes in order to improve the economy of the country; Launched measures to reduce crime; Reduction in rent for housing; Effective teenage pregnancy prevention programs.
  • The survey participants gave a negative assessment of the activities of such parties as DA (43.7%), EFF (38.6%), IFP (35.4%). Also, DA (28.5%), IFP (26.8%), EFF (25%) has the highest negative rating according to the respondents’ answers.

Attitudes towards President Cyril Ramaphosa:

  • In February 2019 it has been exactly 1 year since Cyril Ramaphosa is in charge and respondents were asked to elaborate on what they think about his performance so far. 49% positively assess the performance of the President Ramaphosa, 31,3% found it difficult to provide an assessment. 69.2% would like to see Ramaphosa as the President in the next five years: their answer was “Yes, definitely” (55.4%), another 13.8% have said “Yes, mostly”.
  • Residents of the country perceive President Ramaphosа as a pragmatic and experienced politician, a person with a business mindset, which gives high hopes for improving the quality of life in the country.

Comparison of the survey outcomes:

In October 2018 the study was conducted in all the 9 provinces of the country among 2249 respondents.

  • Compared to the results of the survey conducted in October, the negative attitude towards the ANC has decreased by 3,5%, towards the DA – by 1,3%. At the same time, among the registered voters who have taken part in the survey in February 2019 the positive attitude towards the DA is 4% lower, towards the EFF – 5,4% lower. It is important to mention that 6 000 000 South Africans under 30 years of age and eligible to vote have not registered as voters, while youth is the core support group of the EFF.
  • The electoral rating of the ANC increased by 12,1%, while the rating of the DA has decreased by 5.2%. The negative rating of the ANC party has decreased almost twice.
  • In all provinces (except Western Cape) local ANC politicians got the highest positive ratings.

In conclusion, according to the survey outcomes unemployment, corruption and high crime rates remain the main problems in the country, yet there are economic improvements noticed over the past several months. The political party that is trusted by the majority of South Africans to be in charge of the country’s further development is the ANC.

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