Johannesburg - With less than a month before South Africans go to the polls, a survey carried out by the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg has indicated that more people are likely to vote for the African National Congress (ANC) in the May 8 general elections because of its new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to the survey, which was conducted with the help of 3,500 respondents, South Africans’ trust in Ramaphosa has increased to 55% compared to the 25% trust people had in former president Jacob Zuma.
However, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julias Malema has warned that such research can be misleading.
The survey revealed that people are likely to overlook corruption, their social challenges and distrust of government institutions and vote for the ANC, as they see hope for a better future in Ramaphosa’s leadership.
The survey looked at factors influencing voter decisions, with social backgrounds, age, gender and race taken into consideration.
According to Professor Leila Patel, more people who did not vote for ANC before are likely to do so in the coming election.
“It’s giving us that people who would have previously not voted for the ANC will now do so. It looks like he might have brought back support that was not willing to do so because they trust him.”
Professor Vicky Graham, who formed part of the team conducting the survey, said the EFF is also likely to increase its support in this election among people who feel their voices have not been heard.
Malema, at a media briefing this week, said the attendance at the EFF’s last rally in the Western Cape shocked him.
“I had not expected that much support, but according to research we have 2% support in the Western Cape. So we do not put much attachment on the research,” he said, adding that his party will focus on doing actual groundwork to canvas for votes instead of relying on what research says.
“There is this appeal of the rebellious nation in society and the EFF reflects that. They are the ones that allow you to voice your anger and rage, especially those who feel they have been silenced for far too long and I think they are appealing to people. So, I think there might be a situation that the DA and the EFF might be a coalition type of opposition government but I don’t know if it can climb over the DA in terms of support but they might draw equal,” Graham noted.
Meanwhile, large-scale farmers operating huge vineyards in the Cape winelands and other commercial farms have expressed confidence in the leadership of Ramaphosa, with some even saying he was chosen by God to lead.
The farmers expressed these sentiments during a public meeting with Ramaphosa on Tuesday at the Beyerskloof Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
ANC officials in the Western Cape said the meeting took place at the request of the big producers behind leading brands such as Kanonkop and Simonsig wines and Morgan beef, among others.