ActionSA to lay complaint about polling firms with IEC

ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

Published Mar 18, 2024


ActionSA is set to lay a complaint with the IEC over what it calls an “abuse of polls“ and how they were conducted.

The party’s national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, said the electoral consequences of polls should not be underestimated, as in politics momentum mattered.

Beaumont questioned how South African polling companies were conducting their polls and said the methodology they used was unknown and there was no clear indication of where they got their data from.

He said the IEC needed a law that regulated polling firms and prevented them from propagating misinformation, especially in an election season, as had been done in other countries.

The ActionSA chairperson further said this was the reason other countries had chosen to regulate the polling industry.

“France has regulations governing the publication of polls during election campaigns.

“In Canada, opinion pollsters must register with their electoral agency and adhere to regulations concerning the disclosure of the methodology and sponsorship of a poll.

“Brazil requires political polling companies to register with their superior electoral court to provide information on who commissioned the poll, its methodology, and its margin of error.

“We will file a complaint with the press ombudsman regarding the City Press and News24 publication of the DA poll, as well as file a complaint with the IEC in terms of misinformation.

“The answer lies in pushing for regulations that do not currently exist in our democracy that operates within a rapidly evolving political environment,” added Beaumont.

He also said Social Research Foundation polls should not be considered accurate, as the organisation’s founder and managing director was a former DA staffer, and hence it favoured that party.

“The intent behind publishing these polls, without any reference to their origin, is evident from the pattern presented. In the instance of the most recent poll, the outcomes place the DA at record levels of support, which appears at odds with a party that has lost support in all demographics.”

Attempts to obtain comment from DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi were unsuccessful.

This year’s elections will be fiercely contested, as many smaller parties are planning to work together after the polls to remove the ANC from power.

According to the latest polls, the election results will show a dramatic decline in support for the ruling party, which has been in power since 1994.

The Star

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