The African National Congress in Gauteng has dismissed the latest poll by the Institute of Race Relations, which says the governing party is unlikely to win the province with a decisive majority on May 8.
The IRR poll has the ANC in Gauteng at 41%, a significant drop from the 53% it won during the 2014 general elections.
The poll claims the decline in support is likely to force the ANC into a coalition with the opposition.
On Thursday, ANC Gauteng’s head of elections and MEC of Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, said the party’s internal survey shows that the governing party will win the elections by 54%.
A total of 3,151 respondents participated in the party’s internal survey.
Maile said the increase in support for the ANC during the 2019 elections was mainly attributed to the popularity of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Gauteng happy with Ramaphosa
ANC Gauteng chairperson David Makhura added that the party has full confidence in Ramaphosa, and they are proud to have him as the face of the ANC’s 2019 election campaign.
“Our decisive weapon is Ramaphosa. We want to have him everywhere. We think Ramaphosa (popularity) is a big issue in this election. The opposition parties are trying to knock him down because they know he has a positive effect on the ANC’s elections,” said Makhura.
Makhura said the majority of people in Gauteng are happy that Ramaphosa is dealing with the challenges faced by the ANC in the past few years, such as corruption.
The decline in support for the ANC during the 2014 national elections and the 2016 local government elections was mainly attributed to several corruption charges and political scandals surrounding former president Jacob Zuma.
The survey shows 38% of respondents were deeply concerned by the corruption charges against Zuma, while 34% were concerned about the Constitutional Court Nkandla ruling.
26% were concerned by the removal of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
The provincial ANC’s survey also shows that the party will get 60% of support from institutions of higher learning where the EFF has won the majority of the student representative councils in the past few years.
Makhura said the narrative that young people were lost to the ANC was wrong.
“The EFF support in institutions of higher learning is over-stated,” said Makhura.
‘We are clear winners’
He added that the ANC in Gauteng will not go into any coalition if it fails to garner a decisive majority during the May 8 general elections.
“The ANC will not go into a coalition with any political party after the elections. Coalitions are a failure and people need clear winners. We are not going into any coalition. The markets will be threatened by an ANC-EFF coalition. The markets on the other hand will be comfortable with an ANC-DA coalition. But that coalition will not work because we differ sharply on many policy issues,” said Makhura.
The provincial party’s survey shows that the majority of women will support the ANC at the 2019 polls.
It also shows that the ANC is doing well in Ekurhuleni, with 58% support against the DA’s 13% and the EFF’s 6%.
53% of the people support the ANC in the Johannesburg region and 51% of the people support the ANC in Tshwane.
The party lost both the City of Tshwane and the City of Joburg to the opposition during the 2016 local government elections.
In terms of race, the survey showed that the support for the ANC from the Indian community has doubled compared to the 2014 general elections, with 45% likely to vote for the ANC.
23% of whites, on the other hand, say they are considering voting for the ANC because of the Ramaphosa factor.
“We have never had this support among white people even during the Mandela years,” said Makhura.
Maile said the party expected 67% voter turnout on election day.
“The higher voter turnout is good for the ANC,” according to Maile.
The survey shows that 62% of the people who say they will support the ANC during the polls have Grade 7 to a matric qualification.
In contrast, only 21% of highly educated people say they will support the party.
The middle class and high-income earners, black and white, were also unlikely to vote for the ANC overwhelmingly during the elections.