South Africa: Ramaphosa's Positive Poll - a Signal to Act On Corruption?

analysis

President Cyril Ramaphosa's strong 62% approval rating -- high for a sitting national leader -- is good news for a president under pressure from multiple political opponents. And yet, should he fail to act decisively against state capture culprits soon, his popularity could decline sharply.

There are times when it appears in our politics that there are very few rules, or that most of the "usual" rules of politics no longer apply. However, public popularity is generally seen as important -- a perception that someone enjoys popular support can give them a strong legitimacy.

A new poll suggests that while President Cyril Ramaphosa is still very popular in South Africa, some of his key allies, such as Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, are losing support. Perhaps more important for Ramaphosa, the same poll shows that there are low levels of support for ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule.

The poll, by Citizens Surveys, asked 3,900 people for their views on political figures during the second quarter of 2019. The methodology of all polls is often questioned -- in this case the interviews were conducted face to face. Those who fared badly in this research might still challenge...

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