JOHANNESBURG – IF the results of online and snap surveys are anything to go by, South Africans prefer Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next president of the country in 2019.
A three-month online opinion poll run by the award-winning CAJ News Africa saw South Africans vote overwhelmingly for the current deputy president ahead of other nominees.
Interestingly, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, came last, behind even the likes of opposition politicians.
From the total number of votes cast online, Ramaphosa polled 84 000, representing 30 percent of the total votes.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who maintains her popularity despite her term coming to an end last year, follows closely with 76 000 (27 percent) while Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane was third with 52 votes.
Commander-in-Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, with 47 000 votes (19 percent), was third.
Dlamini-Zuma polled 19 000 votes, representing 7 percent.
Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa are seen as the front-runners to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at its elective conference on December 16-20 in Johannesburg.
John Cairns, Rand Merchant Bank analyst noted with the results from seven provinces now in, Ramaphosa had secured 62 percent of branch nominations, to 38 percent for Dlamini-Zuma.
This excluded so-called unity votes in Mpumalanga or the contested Free State results that questionably favoured Dlamini-Zuma.
Results for Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal were to be released this week.
“We expect the final figures to show Ramaphosa securing at least 60 percent of the branches. The question is whether the markets will care,” Cairns said.
Meanwhile, a snap survey by CAJ News Africa in the major cities of Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Pretoria complemented the online survey as a majority gave Ramaphosa a thumbs up.
“Ramaphosa should be allowed to succeed President Zuma,” said Mthokozisi Qwabe of Msinga Top in KwaZulu Natal (KZN).
“There must be continuity in the ANC to enable the deputy to take over from the incumbent,” Qwabe added.
Shonisani Chauke of Pretoria, also backed Ramaphosa.
“Ramaphosa is already rich. So, he would not be involved in looting state funds,” Chauke argued.
Her other preference is Madonsela.
“I know very well she is not affiliated to any political party but she (Madonsela) proved beyond doubt when she was the Public Protector she has the interest of the nation at heart,” Chauke said.
“This country has money but corruption has made almost 70 percent of the people poor. With a president of Madonsela’s calibre, who does not condone corruption, South Africa could compete with Brazil, Russia, India, China, Germany and even Japan.”
About 27,7 percent of South Africa’s estimated 56,9 million people, mainly the youths are unemployed.
Dumazi Baloyi of Alexandra, Johannesburg, was in support of a Malema presidency but feared the tough-talking leader would become a dictator.
“I like the EFF policies of taking away the land initially stolen from blacks by white people, but my fear, once we give Malema the mandate to become the president he might change laws of the country and become authoritarian.
“I’m not employed and I support nationalisation of banks, seizing of all farms to equitably redistribute and nationalise mining. However, under such circumstances, I would prefer Ramaphosa to be the next president of South Africa,” Baloyi said.
During the surveys it emerged Dlamini-Zuma’s prospects might be compromised by her reportedly being the president’s preferred successor.
“I prefer Dlamini-Zuma but her connection and association with Zuma has muddied her precious name,” said entrepreneur Rofhiwa Mulaudzi of Polokwane.
“Dlamini-Zuma executed her tenure well at the African Union but her links with names widely perceived as most corrupt in the country massively work against her,” Mulaudzi said.
Louise Plaatjies of Cape Town argued the DA was the only tried and tested political party that governed without corruption.
“Maimane deserves to be the next president of South Africa provided the electorate does not vote along party lines. The DA has demonstrated in the metropolitan cities that it is a party that can be trusted by residents. It will be good for the country to be governed by the DA,” Plaatjies claimed.
“I hear people making flimsy allegations that the DA represents the white minority. People living in cities governed by the DA will testify they are happy with the service delivery. So why not vote in office the party’s president in the next election?”
ANC has been the dominant party since majority rule in 1994 but has seen its domination declined over the last two municipal elections, including the poll last year when it lost leadership in some metropolitans.
– CAJ News