Survey Indicates South Africa’s ANC Poised to Lose Parliamentary Majority in May Vote

According to a survey conducted by the Brenthurst Foundation and the SABI Strategy Group, the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa is poised to lose its majority in parliament during the upcoming May elections, marking the first time since Nelson Mandela’s leadership during the end of apartheid three decades ago.

The survey indicates a decline in ANC support, estimating it at 39%, down from 41% in October and 44% in November 2022. The ANC, which garnered over 57% of the vote in the 2019 general election, may need to form a coalition with smaller parties to govern if its support falls below 50%.

Various factors have contributed to the ANC’s diminishing popularity, including economic stagnation, rising unemployment, and corruption scandals involving top officials. Despite efforts by current leader President Cyril Ramaphosa to address these issues and stimulate the economy since assuming office in 2018, progress has been limited. Public dissatisfaction is evident in ongoing power cuts and service delivery failures.

The survey also reveals shifting support towards opposition parties, with the Democratic Alliance’s backing increasing to 27%, and a decline in support for the Economic Freedom Fighters party to 10%. Additionally, a newly-formed party endorsed by former President Jacob Zuma, uMkhonto weSizwe, is gaining traction, garnering 13% support.

The survey methodology involved telephone interviews with registered voters and had a 3% margin of error at a 95% confidence level. Despite these challenges, over three-quarters of respondents expressed openness to a coalition government.