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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Mail & Guardian by Robert Mattes.]

Opinion polls have clearly shown the sharp decline in citizens’ approval of Jacob Zuma’s performance as president over the past three years. What has been less clear is the impact on the ANC. He was also the president of the ANC, until his term ended in December and he was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

For many years, Zuma was considered a “Teflon” president. He seemed to maintain public support even in the face of controversial decisions and scandals because of his personal appeal as an affable populist. Several surveys placed his approval ratings in the 60% to 70% range throughout his first term in office. Once that image was finally pierced, one might have logically expected his downfall to be equally personal, and not take the party down with him.

But new results from the December 2017 South African Citizen Survey demonstrate just the opposite. Asking a widely used measure of party support called partisan identification, a strong predictor of both voter turnout and vote choice, only 32% of those surveyed said they “felt close” to the ANC. This is the worst result recorded in the past 17 years, and statistically tied as the lowest level since 1994.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
4.3% y/y in August 2019 (CPI) & +4.5 y/y in August 2019 (PPI)
3.1% q/q (2nd quarter of 2019)
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