Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

Ramaphosa’s ‘popularity’ plummets – which groups distrust him the most?

You can’t please everyone, and as Cyril Ramaphosa is learning, it’s even more difficult to maintain your popularity amongst new supporters.

ramaphosas popularity plummets which groups distrust him the most 1024x751 - Ramaphosa’s ‘popularity’ plummets – which groups distrust him the most?

All too often, our political affairs can descend into a popularity contest. Yet there’s no denying that this latest survey – from the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council – gives us some fascinating insight into how South Africans rate the pandemic performance of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President’s popularity falls dramatically

The head of state proved to be extremely popular during the group’s last survey from three months ago. Ramaphosa enjoyed an 85% approval rating for his handling of the COVID-19 situation. But, as irrational bans and corrupt governance dominated the headlines, the president has lost a lot of trust from the public:

  • Residents (older than 18) who live in informal settlements – trust levels are down from 86% to 71%.
  • Students (older than 18) – trust levels are down from 77% to 62%.
  • White adults (older than 18) – trust levels are down from 90% to 41%.
  • Indian adults (older than 18) – trust down from 82% to 33%.
  • In total, Ramaphosa’s approval rating during the pandemic has fallen from a high of 85% down to 61%.

Who ‘distrusts’ Cyril Ramaphosa the most?

The president’s popularity can also be charted by his ‘net trust’ ratings. This takes the initial number of ‘trust’ people had in Ramaphosa at the start of the pandemic and weights it against the current figure. By breaking this down into specific demographics, we can see who has lost the most faith in our Cyril.

Despite 90% of white citizens investing their faith into the president at the beginning of this pandemic, they are now the joint-highest group when it comes to distrusting Ramaphosa. They share the top spot with Indian and Asian respondents. He also finds himself unpopular amongst inactive workers, the self-employed, and ‘suburban’ residents:

  • Indian and Asian Communities: -49%
  • White citizens: -49%
  • Suburban house cohort: -43%
  • Inactive labour workers: -40%
  • The self-employed: -38%
  • Those earning above R20 000 per month: -37%
  • Those earning R5 000 – R20 000 per month: -35%
  • Coloured citizens: -35%
  • People who have had ‘close experiences’ with COVID-19: -34%
  • People on less than R1 000 per month: -34%
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Photo: HSRC / UJ

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