Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency has been a ‘disaster’ - poll

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation address at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation address at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 24, 2024


Cyril Ramaphosa's performance as president of South Africa has been disastrous - that's the view of the overwhelming majority of participants in a recent poll survey.

The survey conducted by African Innovation Research South Africa (AIRSA) in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town found that a striking 71.26% of participants expressed disapproval of President Ramaphosa’s performance, revealing a deep-seated dissatisfaction among the electorate.

Only 18.64% of the survey respondents expressed approval, highlighting a significant challenge facing the president as he navigates the political landscape in the run up to national elections on May 29.

A total of 1,030 participants were surveyed, representing a cross-section of the South African populace in these metros. AIRSA has been commissioned to conduct a similar survey in all 9 provinces, the results of which will be made available towards the end of April.

Professor Bheki Mngomezulu from Nelson Mandela University and Dr Sizo Nkala from the University of Johannesburg believe some of the voters have lost confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC for lack of service delivery, corruption and rampant crime.

They said polls have already indicated that voters may turn their back on Ramaphosa and the ANC at the polls.

The majority of the people believe that the governing party has failed to do anything in the last 30 years.

The voters believe the elections on May 29 would be a turning point in the country, said Nkala.

“South Africa's May 29 elections will be the first elections since 1994 in which the ANC faces a real possibility of securing less than 50% of the vote,” Nkala said. “Some polls are suggesting that the ruling party's support may sink to 39%. If this happens the ANC may find itself completely out of government and relegated to the opposition benches in parliament.

"The massive decline in support for the ANC is attributable to its failure to deliver basic public services, tackle corruption and address the endemic endemic unemployment problem that is affecting millions of young people. The growth of opposition parties like the EFF and MK party, which has been endorsed by former president Jacob Zuma has also contributed to the ANC's loss of support," said Nkala.

He warned that it should be remembered that the ANC has good campaign machinery and this could prove critical in the elections.

Nkala said a large section of the elderly still credits the ANC for ending apartheid and it is this section that "may be the saving grace" for the ruling party.

Mngomezulu said many people who had high hopes when Ramaphosa swept into power have been left disappointed by failure to deliver on many promises he made.

The ANC has, on its part, been scoring own goals, he said.

The public has been disappointed on many levels over the last five years and three decades of democracy with the ANC in charge.

Mngomezulu said the elections would be a tough test for the ANC, but they feel they have been disappointed by Ramaphosa.

"Many people who had high hopes about the president have been disappointed. With the ANC's declining support and some ANC leaders scoring own goals, the stakes are high," said Mngomezulu.

The polls have shown that the ANC was on a slippery slope with loss of support.

IOL Politics