President Jacob Zuma delivering The Presidency Budget Vote in Parliament, Cape Town. South Africa. 30/05/2012

President Jacob Zuma does not represent the future of the ANC, if the findings of a youth survey are to be believed.

In the survey, by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, 51 percent of respondents gave Zuma the thumbs down, while only 40 percent approved. The rest were unsure.

Pondering Panda used cellphones to gather the data in the past four weeks, with the results weighted to be nationally representative in terms of race, age and gender.

The 12 791 respondents were from across the country and ranged in age from 18 to 34.

Commenting on the results, Butch Rice, of Pondering Panda, said if Zuma remained the ANC’s presidential candidate for the next election, “it could cost (the party) dearly”.

The survey found there were strong racial differences in opinion, with black respondents being most positive – 45 percent believed Zuma was doing a good job, compared with 46 percent reacting negatively.

Disapproval ratings in the survey ranged from 66 percent among whites to 75 percent among Indians and 68 percent among coloureds.

Weekend reports said that Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale had indicated his availability to challenge Zuma at the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung in December.

A separate survey has found creeping apathy among younger potential voters. Pondering Panda asked 6 247 people aged between 18 and 34 about their intentions in the 2014 elections, and 60 percent said they would vote, compared with 28 percent who said they wouldn’t bother.

“However, in spite of their intention to vote, 46 percent of respondents questioned the point of voting, as nothing ever changed. Black respondents’ attitudes differed from other racial groups, with 44 percent seeing voting as pointless, compared to 53 percent of white South Africans, 51 percent of coloureds, and 62 percent of Indians, the latter clearly being the most disenchanted racial group.”

Political Bureau