ANC Trails DA in Key South African Cities, Latest ENCA Poll Says

  • ANC has 31% backing in Johannesburg, DA 36%, eNCA Poll Shows
  • South Africa’s municipal elections to be held on Aug. 3

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is trailing the main opposition party in three key cities including Pretoria, the capital, and Johannesburg, before municipal elections on Aug. 3, the latest eNCA public-opinion survey shows.

ANC support slumped 2 points to 23 percent in the Tshwane municipality, which includes Pretoria, while the Democratic Alliance gained a point to 40 percent, according to the poll, which was compiled for the broadcaster by research company Ipsos. The Economic Freedom Fighters remained steady at 13 percent, while 14 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

In Johannesburg, the commercial hub, the ANC had 31 percent backing, while the DA gained 1 point to 36 percent, and the EFF held at 9 percent, according to the poll. It said 14 percent of those surveyed in the municipality were undecided.

The ANC gained in a third key municipality that it controls, Nelson Mandela Bay, which incorporates the city of Port Elizabeth. Its support rose 1 percentage point in the past week to 28 percent, according to the poll, compared to 42 percent for the DA and 6 percent for the EFF. The poll showed that 16 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

ANC’s Challenge

The poll is the seventh commissioned by eNCA that shows the ANC is facing a serious challenge to maintain control of the three municipalities, as a 27 percent unemployment rate, a lack of basic services and a succession of scandals embroiling party leader President Jacob Zuma takes its toll. The ANC has won more than 60 percent of the vote in every election since white minority rule ended in 1994.

The poll does not make a prediction of what will happen on voting day, but rather reflects the sentiment at the time of the survey, Stella Fleetwood, Ipsos business unit director for public affairs, said Thursday by phone. It’s “too far off to make a prediction” for the actual election, she said.

The August vote is being contested by 200 parties and 61,014 candidates. The ANC won control of 198 of the 278 municipalities, including seven of the country’s eight biggest metropolitan areas, in the last municipal elections in 2011. The DA secured an outright majority in 18 councils, including Cape Town, the second-biggest city, which wasn’t covered by the eNCA poll.

The poll had a margin of error of between 1.2 percent and 2.8 percent in Johannesburg, from 1.6 percent to 3.7 percent in Pretoria and between 2.5 percent and 5.7 percent in Nelson Mandela Bay, according to eNCA.

The survey was conducted with more than 1,400 respondents in a five-minute interview on their cellphone, including 203 people in Nelson Mandela Bay, 748 voters in Johannesburg and 483 in Tshwane, Fleetwood said.

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