Ramaphosa’s positive poll: A signal to act on corruption?

Stephen Grootes explores Cyril Ramaphosa’s favorability rating in this Daily Maverick piece.  


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 it while those who fared relatively well might talk up its importance.

The key data points are these: Ramaphosa’s favourability rating is at 62%, Magashule’s 11%, Gordhan’s 26%, Deputy President David Mabuza’s 21% and Mboweni’s 29%.

Outside the ANC, EFF leader Julius Malema’s rating is now at 25%, a drop from 30% in the first quarter of 2019. DA leader Mmusi Maimane is at 28%, the same level he has been for several quarters.

To read the full Daily Maverick article click here

Picture: Daily Maverick, Stephen Grootes

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