A new poll shows that South Africa’s black middle class have lost faith in President Jacob Zuma, with a majority saying he’s not doing a good job as president.
The poll, run by market research company TNS, was conducted among 2,000 adults living in metropolitan areas in South Africa, with the results published by the Sunday Times.
The data showed that black respondents had given Zuma the lowest approval rating since he was elected in 2009, dropping from 43% in March 2015 to 27% in February 2016.
Ratings for the president dropped among all race groups, the Sunday Times reported, with approval among the coloured population the lowest – only 3% – followed by whites (9%).
The survey found that Zulu speakers were more likely to agree that Zuma was doing a good job, but even among this specific group, the average dropped significantly, from 58% in 2015, to just 33% in 2016.
Zuma’s overall approval rating dropped from 33% in 2015 to 21% in 2016.
According to the paper, Zuma’s spokesman dismissed the poll, saying that the only true metric of citizen support is in the municipal and general elections – “any other survey is too limited,” he said.
The ANC has consistently lost support at the polls since Zuma took over as president in 2009 to 62% in 2015, from 65.9% in 2009.
In the 2011 municipal elections the ANC scored 62% of the votes – down significantly from 66.3% in 2006.
The 2016 municipal elections are expected to take place in August this year, with Zuma’s country-breaking antics over the past four months putting the ANC in the spotlight.
Despite this, the party has shown unity behind the president ahead of the elections – though reports point to mechanisations being in place to have him recalled after the country has been to the polls.