A third of young South Africans believe honesty is the best policy for presidential hopefuls, according to a study.
“It’s clear that young people are looking for a president they can trust – someone who will be honest with them and follow through on their promises,” said the researchers today.
Consumer insights company Pondering Panda conducted cellphone interviews with 4 360 people aged between 18 and 34 across South Africa over four days.
The study found President Jacob Zuma was the politician with the most good qualities, compared with Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who is also the leader of the Democratic Alliance.
About 31% of black people held this view. Twenty-four percent felt Malema had more positive attributes.
Zille was seen to have the most good qualities by young whites (47%) and coloureds (44%).
Of the three politicians, Malema was the most highly regarded by respondents in Limpopo, North West, and the Free State.
While he tied with Zuma in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, Zuma came out tops in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Zille was viewed most positively in the Western Cape.
Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said people’s perception of potential presidential candidates’ characters would have a significant impact on next year’s election.
“The question now becomes whether any candidate can establish themselves as the honest, trustworthy, humble individual that young people want as their leader,” she said.
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