New data shows that public disapproval ratings for the ANC has increased significantly since 2011 under president Jacob Zuma, with particular concern in economic capital of Gauteng.
The ANC admitted in August, in an internal discussion document that it has concerns about its waning support, following the general elections in May last year.
“The ANC’s leadership status and role are under threat; and other political forces
seek to exploit its weaknesses to dislodge it,” the document said.
From the last two national elections, the ANC has shed support, coming down from 69.7% in 2004, to 65.9% in 2009 and 62.2% in 2014, it said.
ANC membership has also dwindled from over one million to just above 789,000 over the last couple of years, president Jacob Zuma said at the party’s national general council (NGC) last month.
According to a survey published by international research firm Afrobarometer, approval of president Zuma has almost halved between 2011 (64%) and 2015 (36%) and is now well below the presidential average since 2000 (55%).
The Afrobarometer team in South Africa, led by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and Plus 94 Research, interviewed 2,400 adult South Africans in August-September 2015.
In Gauteng, the approval rating for president Zuma has dropped to 23% – Joint last out of nine provinces, and 36% for members of parliament in 2015.
However, approval for the premier in Gauteng is at 52% – fifth highest, while for Local government councillors, its at 31% – third worst.
The ruling party’s popularity in the City of Joburg waned substantially in the 2014 elections, down more than 10% from 2009, to 52.3%, from 62.35% in 2009.
In the 2011 local elections it won 58.56%.
ANC supporters’ faith in govenment is slipping, with 53% approving of the president, 54% in members of parliament, and only 44% in local council.
Approval is particularly low among younger South Africans, at 34% for Zuma among those 18-29 and older, and 36% for those between 30-49 year old. For the older generation (50-over), that figure rises to 61%.