A general election is essentially a popularity contest, which is a bad omen for some leaders: Here’s how the public view Ramaphosa, Maimane and Malema.
Political researchers Ipsos have released their facts and figures for the most popular leaders in South Africa. The survey pits the three main party front-men against each other, as Cyril Ramaphosa, Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema are judged on whether they are “doing a good job” or not.
The whole thing effectively boils down to a popularity contest, and there’s something of a gulf between the “winner” and his other competitors. For good measure, we’ve also got the ratings in for each province’s premier and a few key figures within the ANC. Here’s what the data is telling us:
2019 Elections: Who is the most-liked leader – Ramaphosa, Maimane, or Malema?
After conducting 3 600 face-to-face interviews between March and April, Ipsos concluded that it’s a clear victory for Cyril Ramaphosa. Although, the ANC didn’t exactly have to set the bar high: Those surveyed gave Cyril an average rating of 6.5 out of 10 and ranked him as the most popular leader.
Then, there’s something of a gulf: The DA’s Mmusi Maimane squeezes into second place, but his rating is far from favourable. He averaged a score of 3.5 out of 10, when respondents were asked about his performance levels.
The wooden spoon has ended up with EFF leader Julius Malema, but only by a fine margin. He racks up just 3.4 out of 10 based on the same criteria.
How popular are the ANC?
Other ANC figures surveyed included David Mabuza and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The deputy president fares better than any opposition leaders, but he’s far from being “Mr Popular”, racking up a score of 3.9. NDZ actually performed slightly better and has been given a 4.2 out of 10.
Meanwhile, Cyril also got the nod from registered voters who were polled about his competency. Although many remained unconvinced by the national government, Ramaphosa is still giving off a positive impression. The same, however, cannot be said for this country’s metros:
“Just over half of registered voters (54%) feel that the national government is doing its job “very well” or “fairly well”, whereas President Ramaphosa is seen to do his job very or fairly well by 62%.”
“There is definitely less appreciation for local authorities and less than half (49%) say that their municipality is doing its job very or fairly well – possibly part of the cause of the current widespread service delivery protests in the country.”
Who are the best premiers in South Africa?
Shifting their focus from Ramaphosa, Maimane and Malema, Ipsos also asked their thousands of participants how they felt their provincial premier was performing. There was a clear winner, and that was the DA’s Helen Zille – around 63% of those surveyed said that the outgoing official has been doing their job “fairly well”.
There’s some distance between her and the Northern Cape’s Sylvia Lucas – the only other premier to pass the halfway mark. David Makhura completes the top three, with a 48% approval rating. Job Mokgoro, the North West Premier, props up the table with a measly score of 23%.