If polls hold water, then President Jacob Zuma’s approval rating has hit rock bottom and seven out of 10 South Africans believe he should step down.
Asked whether Zuma should resign as president, 74% of 1000 South Africans said yes. The poll was conducted after Zuma’s controversial reshuffle of his Cabinet last week.
White, Indian and Coloured respondents held stronger views, with 84% calling for his resignation compared with 69% of black respondents.
The mobile poll was conducted via SMS by Kantar TNS, a global market research company.
And in a separate TNS survey conducted over two weeks in March – but before the Cabinet reshuffle, only 20% of South Africans living in metropolitan areas thought that Zuma was doing a good job as president of the country. This is a drop from a high of 58% during Zuma’s first year as president in 2009.
In a statement, Kantar TNS, which has tracked Zuma’s support since 2009, noted that the shift in ratings was most marked among black respondents, with 64% disagreeing that he is doing a good job. This is up from 59% in February last year.
“Black females, in particular, are expressing a stronger opinion about their disapproval with ratings of 65% versus 57% last year.”
Asked to what extent they would support four possible candidates to be president of South Africa in 2019 – that is if they had a choice – Cyril Ramaphosa received 56% support, Mmusi Maimane 42%, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma 41.8% and Julius Malema 24%.
The so-called omnibus survey on Zuma’s approval rating was conducted between March 15 and 30 among a sample of 2000 adults living in the seven major metropolitan areas.
TNS said the surveys were representative in terms of area, race, and gender profile.
In a poll conducted by eNCA/Ipsos, Zuma received a popularity rating of 4 out of a possible high of 10. The poll canvassed 3416 adult South Africans between October 25 and November 28 last year.
Zuma is fighting a battle to retain his hold on the ruling party amid the fallout over his decision to axe Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.
– Janet Heard