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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs