South Africa’s ANC Faces Dwindling Support, Survey Finds

South African Election: Opposition Alliance Chair Confident
Supporters wearing party colors wave a flag during an African National Congress party (ANC) campaign event in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Sunday, April 7, 2019. The ANC is expected to easily maintain its monopoly on power in the May 8 national elections, albeit with a slightly reduced majority.

South Africa’s ANC Faces Dwindling Support, Survey Finds

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ruling African National Congress (ANC) face further setbacks as a recent opinion poll indicates a sharp decline in support for the party.

According to the Social Research Foundation’s survey, conducted recently, the ANC may only secure around 37% of the vote in the upcoming elections on May 29th. Additionally, the poll suggests that Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the new party led by disgraced former President Jacob Zuma, could emerge as the country’s third-largest party, potentially garnering up to 13% of the vote. Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, is projected to win around 25% of the vote.

Jacob Zuma’s involvement with MK, which he joined last year after distancing himself from the ANC, adds another layer of complexity. Zuma, who served as president from 2009 to 2018, was forced out of office due to numerous corruption scandals. In 2021, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court. However, the Electoral Court’s recent ruling allows Zuma to contest the upcoming elections, despite constitutional provisions barring candidates who have received a prison sentence of 12 months or more.

The ANC’s declining popularity is evident from its previous electoral performance. In the 2019 election, the party secured 57.5% of the vote, its lowest since assuming power in 1994. A result below 50% in the upcoming election would necessitate forming a coalition with smaller parties to govern the country.

Another recent poll by The Brenthurst Foundation and the SABI Strategy Group estimated ANC support at 39%. However, this survey faced skepticism from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa’s third-largest parliamentary force, which questioned its credibility.

The ANC’s diminishing support can be attributed to a myriad of factors including economic stagnation, high unemployment rates, corruption scandals, frequent power outages, and widespread crime. Additionally, recent disclosures to the Independent Electoral Commission revealed significant funding for the Democratic Alliance from the Oppenheimer family, founders of The Brenthurst Foundation, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.

As South Africa braces for the upcoming elections, the political landscape remains volatile, with shifting allegiances and growing discontent among voters. The ANC faces the formidable task of regaining public trust amidst mounting challenges and internal divisions.


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