News / Africa

South Africa’s Poor Drifting Away From ANC

South African President Jacob Zuma takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria May 24, 2014.
South African President Jacob Zuma takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria May 24, 2014.
Anita Powell
As South Africa’s ruling party settles in for another five years in power, the numbers show that the African National Congress’s traditional support base - low-income voters - has dwindled significantly. For Africa’s leading democracy, this promises interesting elections in 2016, and could signal future changes in the political landscape.

Just days before voters gave him another term in office, South African President Jacob Zuma drew a clear line across his nation’s electorate, asserting that his traditional support base - South Africa’s working class and poor - had no interest in the scandal involving public money used to make improvements to his private homestead, Nkandla.

“The people are not worried about it. As a result, people don’t think the Nkandla issue is a problem to affect ANC voters, not at all. It’s not an issue with the voters," said Zuma. "It’s an issue with the bright people. [For the] Very clever people, it’s a big issue.”

Zuma speaks out

Zuma, who portrays himself as a populist, has often expressed derision for the people he labels "clever" -- a group he variously defines to include intellectuals, urbanites, journalists, his critics and anyone he feels has turned away from traditional African values.

To strengthen the party's base, he has campaigned aggressively in rural, impoverished areas. And the nation's poor, who are almost all black, still largely back the ANC.

The longstanding idea that those voters will remain loyal to the ANC may be slowly crumbling, however, according to researchers from the University of Johannesburg.

Numbers from the May 7 elections show the ANC dropped only three percent in overall support, but suffered more severe, double-digit percentage drops in some areas.

The UJ researchers spoke to 1,200 voters in three impoverished areas to try to find out why this is.
 
Dwindling support

Their study found that 56 percent of respondents support the ANC, which sounds high, but actually shows a steady decline in ANC support since 1994, when the party came to power.

Researchers found declining youth support for the ANC.

They also heard criticism of alleged corruption in the party, but found that among those living in dire poverty, those concerns were trumped by more tangible worries, such as the ANC government’s poor record in reducing crime and maintaining infrastructure.

They further found that residents were willing to shed party loyalties in local elections -- a finding that could promise an exciting municipal election in 2016.

Some analysts already have predicted the ANC will struggle to hang on to the nation’s economic powerhouse, Gauteng province.

Professor Leila Patel said, “In terms of those that would split their vote, there were quite a lot that said they would split their vote, in terms of the national and local elections.”

Researchers say they plan to do more studies on what is still an emerging trend.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: De La Rey from: Zimbabwe
May 27, 2014 3:43 PM
Uhuru! It is high time that the criminal elders realize that the youth will govern the country and not the priveledged few Poda Zulus!!! Mbolgolwane her we come!!!!!

by: Boer007 from: RSA
May 27, 2014 3:09 PM
The South African apartheid government was fighting a war against the Soviet Union for many years. Ironically, with the fall of the soviet union, the ANC immediately came to power...without a war.

Today the ANC is a far cry from the honour Nelson Mandela bestowed onto the party. Zuma is a man with approx 700 charges of corruption against him that vanished into thin air as he became president.

But the tied is turning... and maybe not exactly in the direction the Western world would like it. Russia is pretty eager to see the rebirth of the Soviet Union...off course with the help of China. Pre 1994, South Africa was 100% loyal to the West. Today South Africa is firmly in the hand of Russia/China.

With the ever deteriorating political conditions in South Africa, chances are pretty good that the country could end up like Mozambique or Zimbabwe. The west has punished South Africa's pre 1994 government with massive sanctions, just to hand the country over to Russia/China. As the West declines financially, will they at some point regret this???

by: David Mohlala from: Gauteng
May 27, 2014 2:19 PM
ANC is the party for now and the future
The number of support might be comming down but there is no alternative now.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More