Jacob Zuma approval levels improve – survey

President Jacob Zuma’s approval levels in major metropolitan areas has shown a slight improvement, a survey has found.

Zuma’s approval rating last month stood at 43%, research company TNS said today.

“The most recent data collected in August … shows that the trend of increasing disapproval of the president has levelled off, with a slight improvement overall since the beginning of 2013,” it said.

The approval rating in February stood at 41%.

TNA said the increase in approval ratings was driven by people older than 35.

Approval ratings by young adults (18-24) decreased from 49% in February to 45% last month.

People aged between 25 and 34 were becoming more undecided about Zuma, with the number of “fence sitters” increasing between 8% in February and 12% last month.

“Controversial media incidents such as the Gupta wedding scandal and Nkandla public spending do not appear to have caused any increased disapproval of the president at an aggregate level, but remain at low levels,” TNA South Africa said.

“Decreased approval ratings among the youth could be a cause for concern for the ANC going into the elections next year.”

The rating also increased across three racial groups – Indian, black and white – with the most “pronounced” increase among Indians from 14% in February to 26% in August.

There was also an increase in approval with people living in Gauteng from 44% in February to 49% last month.

But the data also showed that Zuma’s critics outweighed his defenders by 4%.

The study was conducted among a sample of 2 000 adults in the seven major metropolitan areas.

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