Research group, Afrobarometer, has released a new report on voter’s perceptions in South Africa.
The Afrobarometer team in South Africa, led by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Plus 94 Research, interviewed 1,800 adult South Africans in August and September 2018.
A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at a 95% confidence level, Afrobarometer said.
According to the results, almost half (48%) of South Africans say that if elections were held tomorrow, they would vote for the ANC. The DA and EFF would tie for second place with 11% each.
All other parties would combine for 4% of votes, while more than a quarter (27%) of South Africans say they don’t know who they would vote for, they would not vote, or they refused to answer the question.
The ANC’s 48% is the same proportion it received in Afrobarometer’s 2015 survey – down from 55% in 2011.
DA losing ground
After a decade of growth on this indicator, the DA lost ground compared to 2015 (17%), while the relatively young EFF has managed to pull even with the DA as the largest opposition parties in South Africa.
The ANC is considerably stronger in rural areas (59%) than cities (43%). The DA, in contrast, triples its rural share (4%) in urban areas (14%), while the EFF shows urban-rural balance (11% each).
The only province where the ANC does not have the largest share of support among these declared voters is Western Cape, where it trails the DA 31% to 23%. The ANC enjoys majority support in the Eastern Cape (69%), Mpumalanga (65%), Limpopo (60%), and North West (55%) provinces.
More than one-third of respondents are in the don’t know/refused to answer/wouldn’t vote camp in Western Cape (39%) and KwaZulu-Natal (34%).
Give up elections entirely?
One of the more notable findings of the survey is the fact that a majority of South Africans said they would be open to giving up elections in return for good service delivery by the government.
More than six in 10 (62%) say they would be “willing” or “very willing” to forgo elections if a non-elected government or leader were able to impose law and order and provide housing and jobs.
This finding may suggest the depth of South Africans’ dissatisfaction with the government’s performance.
Only one-fifth (22%) of citizens say the government is performing “fairly well” or “very well” at providing jobs, and fewer than one-third (30%) are satisfied with government’s efforts to improve living standards of the poor.