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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs