Malema trumps Steenhuisen in popularity stakes

2020-02-07 16:41

Ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address next week, new research shows that the Democratic Alliance’s interim leader John Steenhuisen has a lower favourability rating than the EFF’s leader Julius Malema.

This was revealed in marketing and social research consultancy company Citizen Surveys’ monthly study, the South African Citizens Survey.

It examines the presidential job approval rating, the country’s most pressing issues, the Eskom crisis and the favourability of different political leaders.

Malema’s favourability rating at the end of the year was 26% compared with Steenhuisen’s 15% rating. Steenhuisen beat out ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule by only 2%.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has a higher rating than Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan with a 33% favourability. Gordhan, who is in charge of embattled state-owned enterprises, has a 28% rating.

Gordhan’s rating is 4% higher than Ramaphosa’s deputy, David Mabuza.

The Eskom crisis didn’t help Gordhan’s ratings. Trust in the power-producing entity was all over the place. At the beginning of 2019, it stood at 56% but it plummeted to its lowest level of 35% in April after the loadshedding period that started in February. Citizen Survey reports that trust in Eskom rocketed to 55% after the May national and provincial elections. But after the latest survey the trust in Eskom was 44%.

When asked who was to blame for the crisis at Eskom, 34% of South Africans blamed the entity’s leadership, saying that they didn’t do their job properly. Municipalities that didn’t pay Eskom on time were second on the blame list with 24% of those who participated in the survey laying blame for Eskom’s issues at their door.

According to Citizen Survey, most South Africans believed that the country was heading in the wrong direction. Only 28% believes that the country was heading in the right direction compared with 38% who believed the country is on a downward spiral.

Unemployment was what most respondents thought the most important problem facing the country was, with 75% people putting it at the top of their list. This was followed by crime at 33% and corruption at 26%.

Despite this, the president’s favourability rating remained at 61%. An even higher 64% of South Africans thought that Ramaphosa was doing his job well.

Reza Omar, strategic research director at Citizen Survey says that South Africans will now be turning to the plan – the state of the nation address – that will help navigate them through these troubled times.

The South African Citizens Survey collates data from face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1300 respondents a month.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

March 29 2020