Zuma's approval ratings at 48 percent
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe gets 51% - but it gets complicated when people are asked about their presidential preference
President Jacob Zuma’s approval ratings in major metropolitan areas have stabilised at 48%, according to a survey conducted by market research company TNS.
“The president’s approval rating in metro areas in the first two weeks of August 2012 stood at 48%,” TNS said in a statement. “This compares with 55% in February, 46% in mid-April and 51% in a smaller survey in July.”
Approval levels differed considerably by population group: Blacks had an approval level of 62%, whites 24%, coloureds 19%, and Indians and Asians 23%.
“There is no difference by gender,” TNS said.
“Younger people are more positive, but this largely correlates with the age profiles of the different race groups.”
People whose home language was isiZulu, gave Zuma the highest ratings at 71%. English and Afrikaans speakers averaged 24%, and other language groups averaged 55%.
By contrast, the approval rating of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in August was 51%, with 34% being negative and 16% giving a “don’t know” responses. This compared with 49% in April. This indicated Motlanthe had maintained a small lead from April to August.
In August, whites, Coloureds, Indians and Asians averaged 23 percent approval ratings for Motlanthe. Among black people, 65% approved of Motlanthe. Higher approval levels came from those aged 25 to 34 years (58 percent) and the lowest from those aged 50 to 60 years (39 percent).
No gender differences were evident.
“All black language groups evince essentially the same approval level of 65%,” TNS said. “This is the same as in April.” However, approval rates had risen among whites, Indians and Asians.
In metro areas, 32% said Zuma should have a second term as president, with 55% disagreeing and 13% giving a “don’t know” response.
A total of 39% said Motlanthe should be the next president, with 40% disagreeing and 27% giving a “don’t know” response.
While age and gender differences were small, a breakdown by population group showed Motlanthe’s lead came largely from the black metro population:
In Soweto, Zuma’s 48% approval rating was the lowest since he assumed office.
In Port Elizabeth, the figure of 30% was also an all-time low.
Motlanthe showed gains on the West Rand and in Pretoria, and in Durban and Port Elizabeth.
He showed higher approval ratings than Zuma in Gauteng (especially Soweto and Pretoria) and the Eastern Cape, but was lower in Durban.
In terms of presidential choice, Motlanthe was ahead of Zuma in many parts of Gauteng, especially Soweto, the South Rand/Vaal Triangle and Pretoria, and the Eastern Cape.
However, Zuma was ahead in Durban.
Zuma was also ahead among isiZulu home speakers, at 52%, but was well behind among all other black language groups.
Zuma scored 22% among isiXhosa speakers, while Motlanthe scored 46%.
He had the support of 40% of SeSotho speakers, against Motlanthe’s 59%.
Zuma polled only 40% among Setswana and other language speakers, while Motlanthe polled 54%.
“Whilst Mr Zuma’s and Mr Motlanthe’s approval levels are very similar, the deputy president has maintained a small lead for the last six months,” TNS said.
This small lead occurred across all race groups.
“However, in terms of presidential choice, the gap between the two men is somewhat wider, with strong regional and language differences, not surprisingly, being evident.”
But, for all questions, the percentage of people giving a “don’t know” response was higher for Motlanthe.
This meant people were less sure of him, said TNS.
Meanwhile, overall 47% of metro dwellers agreed that Helen Zille was doing a good job as Western Cape premier. Only 35% of blacks agreed, but 74% of whites, 71 percent of Coloureds, and 49% of Indians/Asians agreed.
In Cape Town, 68% of metro dwellers agreed she was doing a good job, including 41% of blacks, 89% of whites, and 76% of Coloureds.
- The survey was conducted among 2,000 adults from the seven major metropolitan areas in South Africa, interviewed face to face.