Monday, December 2, 2013

Is Zuma Becoming a Liability for the ANC?

The 2013 future fact survey's most recent findings show a massive slide in trust and confidence in President Zuma to a score of 37 from a high 257 five years ago.  

There is a threefold increase in the no confidence scores among those who say they are wavering in their support for the ANC (their ‘no confidence' rating moves from 12% five years ago to 31% now).

This is in marked contrast to Trevor Manuel, Pravin Gordhan and even Cyril Ramaphosa whose trust and confidence scores are dramatically higher than the President's at 227, 193 and 118. 

Confidence in the President has been strongly eroded within the working classes and those who live in informal settlements, as well as among the middle and upper middle classes, many of whom could find a new political home in one of the newer parties.  The erosion of confidence in the President has also resulted in an increase from 73% to 87% among those who want the country's President to be chosen by the people not the party.  Interestingly the same levels are reflected even among currently strong supporters of the ANC. 

This disaffection with the President is likely to have rubbed off on the ruling party, even though the party's popularity hasn't dropped to anything like the same extent as the President's.  

Confidence scores for the ANC have declined from 146 to 110 over the last year.  It is clear the people are asking for a strong leader to emerge to restore order and discipline, based on their disillusionment on a variety of issues, from attitudes to corruption and crime and aspects such as accountability in government. 

There is an upside  - our faith in the democratic process.  Despite the fact that so many have lost confidence in the President and to a lesser extent in the ANC, two thirds of those surveyed (up from 60% in 2011) believe our democracy is strong and will endure. 

futurefact has been surveying the attitudes and beliefs of South Africans since 1998.  The findings presented above are from futurefact 2013 which is based on a probability sample of 3,025 adults aged 15 years and over, living in communities of more than 500 people throughout South Africa representing 21.6 million adults.