The ANC has failed to erode the lead of the main opposition party in Pretoria, the capital, and Johannesburg, three weeks before the nation holds local government elections, the latest eNCA public opinion survey shows.
The ANC dropped a point to 25% in the Tshwane municipality, which includes Pretoria, while the Democratic Alliance remained steady at 39%, according to the poll, which was compiled for the broadcaster by research company Ipsos. The Economic Freedom Fighters gained a point to 13%.
In Johannesburg, the commercial hub, the ANC had 31% backing, while the DA dropped one point to 35%, and the EFF rose by an equal margin to 13%.
The ANC did lift its support in a third key municipality that it controls, Nelson Mandela Bay, which incorporates the city of Port Elizabeth, where it gained six percentage points in the past week to 27%, according to the poll, compared to 42% for the DA and 8% for the EFF.
The poll is the sixth commissioned by eNCA that shows the ANC is facing a serious challenge to maintain control of the three municipalities, as a 27% unemployment rate, a lack of basic services and a succession of scandals embroiling party leader President Jacob Zuma takes its toll. The ANC has won more than 60% of the vote in every election since white minority rule ended in 1994.
“What Ipsos is basically saying is we have lost the election,” Paul Mashatile, the 54-year-old chairman of the ANC in the central Gauteng province, said in a July 7 interview. “I’m not sure how they are doing their research. We are quite confident that in many of our municipalities” the ANC has 50% support or more.
The percentage of respondents who said they were undecided about how they would vote was 16% in Johannesburg, 13% in Tshwane and 15% in Mandela Bay.
The August vote is being contested by 200 parties and 61 014 candidates. The ANC won control of 198 of the 278 municipalities, including seven of the country’s eight biggest metropolitan areas, in the last municipal elections in 2011. The DA secured an outright majority in 18 councils, including Cape Town, the second-biggest city, which wasn’t covered by the eNCA poll.
The poll had a margin of error of between 1,2% and 2,8% in Johannesburg, from 1,6% to 3,7% in Pretoria and between 2,5% and 5,7% in Nelson Mandela Bay, according to eNCA. — (c) 2016 Bloomberg LP
- Written with assistance from Sam Mkokeli