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The ANC 98 years old

17 January 2010

Since the general election in April 2009, where the ANC failed to achieve a two-thirds majority, the party has succeeded in consolidating and building its support – support for the ANC currently stands at 71% of eligible voters, i.e. those South Africans who are 18 or older.

These are some of the findings in the latest Socio-Political Trends survey conducted by Ipsos Markinor. Fieldwork was done from 21 October to 13 November 2009. It is part of the Pulse of the People public opinion series and a representative sample of 3500 adult South Africans from all walks of life is interviewed twice a year. Results should be evaluated within the margin of error, which is between 0.72% and 1.57%, depending on the response rate.

The African National Congress
In the latest poll respondents were given a ballot paper, similar to the ballot paper in an election and asked to indicate their choice of political party, seal the ballot paper and give it back to the interviewer. According to the findings, more than 7 in every 10 South Africans (71%) chose the ANC on the ballot paper. To get a clearer indication of who the supporters of the ANC are, we compare the demographic profile of ANC supporters with the profile of eligible voters:

  ANC Supporters % Eligible voters (18+)%
Male 50 50
Female 50 50
18-24 24 23
25-34 26 25
35-49 29 29
50+ 21 23
Working Status    
Working 33 38
Not working 67 62
Population Group    
Black 92 76
White 3 12
Coloured 4 9
Indian 1 3
No education 7 6
Up to some highschool 62 55
Matric 23 26
Tertiary education 8 13

It is clear that there is a close match between the profile of eligible voters and that of ANC supporters, although in terms of population group the ANC still draws more than 90% of its support from the black population. A higher proportion of ANC supporters are not working and almost two-thirds of ANC support come from the group who have some high school education. ?

President Jacob Zuma
In this survey people were asked to rate political leaders, including President Jacob Zuma, on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 meant totally against and 10 meant totally in favour of President Zuma. Like his party, President Zumas rating increased over the last six months from 6.1 out of 10 (measured in April 2009) to 7.6 out of 10. Although his rating among black people also increased, the increases among minority groups is the most notable.

  Rating Jacob Zuma on a scale from 0 10 (April 2009) Rating Jacob Zuma on a scale from 0 10 (November 2009)
Total (Mean) 6.1 7.6
Black (Mean) 7.3 8.2
Indian (Mean) 3.5 6.7
Coloured (Mean) 2.6 5.9
White (Mean) 2.3 5.4

But, in keeping with the support for the ANC, black people are evidently the most in favour of President Zuma.
Lets look at how supporters of different political parties feel about their President:

  Rating Jacob Zuma on a scale from 0 10
Total (Mean) 7.63
ANC (Mean) 8.35
DA (Mean) 5.10
COPE (Mean) 6.17
IFP (Mean) 6.85

Not surprisingsly, supporters of the official opposition, the DA (Democratic Alliance), are the least in favour of President Zuma.

For further information contact
Mari Harris

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