Results of the latest voter preference survey, conducted by
the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), exemplify the fierce political
battle which will take place on election day, 8 May.
The survey, overseen by the University of Johannesburg (UJ), asked respondents a host of questions relative to their confidence in political parties ahead of South Africa’s general election next month. Questions regarding socioeconomic wellbeing versus democracy, faith in state institutions, corruption and land expropriation without compensation all formed part of the questionnaire.
With the upcoming election touted as being the most critical since South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994, it’s the voter preferences – particularly on a provincial scale – which reveal a massive political shift; one which has the propensity to alter the course of the country.
Nervous elections for DA and ANC
The CDSA report follows a Wave 1 survey, which was completed in October 2017. The Wave 2 report, released on 2 April 2019, tracks the variances in voter confidence. For both the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), these surveys have been damning.
In the last general election, the ANC managed to secure 62.15%
of the national vote. According to the CDSA survey, the ruling party currently
has between 53% and 56% of the national vote; a considerable drop from the
previous election result.
While a predicted drop in support for the ruling party would
usually signify jubilation amongst the ranks of the official opposition, the
CDSA survey paints a grim picture for the DA, too. In 2014, the DA managed to capitalise
on the ANC’s downturn, securing 22.23% of the national vote; recent predictions
put the party down to around 13%.
The Western Cape is predicted to prove an especially testing battleground for both parties. Current voter confidence rests at 31.64% for the ANC and 31.41% for the DA.
EFF expected to increase its voter share
While predictions point to the top two parties losing votes
in the upcoming elections, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), currently third
on the log, are expected to show good gains. This was reiterated by the CDSA
survey, which shows that the party is likely to better its 2014 performance, in
which it received just over 6% of the national vote.
It’s estimated that the EFF will up its tally to around 9%
come 8 May.
While national expectancies sit at a 3% increase, it’s the
provincial predictions which will surely elicit glee from Commander in Chief
Julius Malema and his band of radical revolutionaries. According to the survey,
the EFF has made massive inroads in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and
Mpumalanga, with predicated gains upwards of 7%.
CSDA survey methodology
The ongoing CSDA survey, which begun in 2017 with Wave 1 and
will continue until October 2019, is conducted to provide valuable information
concerning voter confidence over a three-year period.
The recently released report had a sample size of 3431 respondents and represented the current voter roll demographic. According to the report:
This sample is representative of 38 034822 potential voters. Of the total, 70% reside in urban areas and 30% in rural areas. This corresponds with the national urban–rural split.
Gender representation was split almost equally, with 52% female and 49% male. Most respondents were aged between 18 and 34 years (49%), with 41% aged between 35 and 59 years, while 10% were older than 60 years.
Of the total, 77% of respondents were black, 10% coloured, 11% white and 3% Indian/Asian. Most respondents were working (46%) as opposed to not working (22%) or unemployed (33%).
Respondents in the sample were largely poor and fell into the lower middle-income bands. Of all the respondents, 58% earned less than R8 000 as their total monthly income. 21% of the respondents refused to answer the question about their income, which is not unusual in household surveys as these are considered to be sensitive questions. About 16% of respondents earned more than R10 000 per month.
Regarding education, 46% of respondents have Grade 12 as the highest level of education; 29% have secondary school as the highest level; 4% have primary school. 5% of respondents have an artisan’s certificate; 7% have a technikon diploma and only 5% have a university degree.
Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), SOCIO-ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
AND VOTER PREFERENCES