Survey shows Zuma's rating on a slow decline


President Jacob Zuma’s approval rating in metro areas has shown a slow decline since September, according to a survey by marketing group TNS.

“President Zuma’s approval level for October/November stabilised at 48% of metro adults, compared with 45% in September in a year of greater stability in the readings,” TNS head of innovation Neil Higgs said of the survey released on Thursday.

“The September figures showed a drop to 45% with the net positive reading dropping to just 4%. The October/ November reading at 48% is just on the overall average for the year.”

Higgs said that in 2009 Zuma’s approval levels were good when they averaged in the mid-fifties.

The survey was conducted among a sample of 2000 South Africans, interviewing them face-to-face in their homes, from the seven major metropolitan areas.

“The latest reading was conducted in the last week of October and the first week in November. This time period coincides with the president’s reshuffle of the Cabinet,” said Higgs.

Higgs said political views in South Africa tended to have a strong correlation with race.

“The latest reading for blacks is effectively unchanged and has been very stable for the whole year.
The figures for whites reflect an improvement to the best levels of the year,” said Higgs.

“For coloureds, sentiment has shifted positively after a low reading in September. For Indians/Asians, there is more volatility but the latest reading is much better than the all-time low achieved in September.”

Differences by area indicate there are small rises in most of Gauteng except Soweto where there is a notable drop.

While Cape Town also shows a modest rise and Durban shows a notable rise after a drop in September, whilst the Eastern Cape shows a decline, said Higgs.

“Overall, Gauteng and Durban have the highest approval levels. Cape Town has by far the poorest figures.”

Higgs said people aged 18 to 34 years were the most positive at 53% (52% in September) whilst those aged 60 years and more are the least positive at 40% (up from the 30% of September).

“In terms of language group, the most positive are those whose home language is isiZulu at 68% (66% in September) and Tswana speakers (63%). Of the other black language groups, the approval level sits at 55%.”

Younger people were still more favourably disposed to the president compared with other age groups, said Higgs.

The study has a margin of error of under 2.5% for the results found in the total sample.—Sapa

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