JOHANNESBURG - Half of South African adults believe that President Jacob Zuma and his government are not doing their jobs well, market research company Ipsos said on Wednesday.
These were the results of face-to-face interviews with 3564 randomly selected adult South Africans who were interviewed in their homes and home languages, Ipsos SA's director of public affairs Mari Harris said in a statement.
The interviews were conducted in November last year.
Fifty four percent of respondents said Zuma was not doing well.
Of the remaining 46 percent, 17 percent said Zuma was doing very well and 29 percent said he was doing fairly well.
"On Thursday evening South Africans will listen to President Zuma's State of the Nation speech with interest, as they would like to hear... some clear direction regarding the way in which the government plans to address the issues the electorate are concerned about, how the
government will rebuild credibility, consolidate resources and deliver on the plans that exist, and make new plans to create some hope for the future," Harris said.
South African public perception of how well government was doing had declined in the past three years, Harris said.
"Only about a third of South Africans are of the opinion that the country is going in the right direction. It should come as no surprise that the public are not impressed with government performance in most of the policy areas we measure."
This was according to the "Ipsos Government Performance Barometer" which measures public perceptions about the government's performance in handling key policy areas as well as the views on the performance of the president, deputy president and the national government.
Harris said the polls were done every six months.
The results indicated that in the five years since the previous election, the proportion of South Africans who said the country was moving in the right direction had steadily declined.
"Currently almost half of South Africans (48 percent) feel that the country is moving in the wrong direction."
Twenty-five government policy areas in economy, social issues and governance and administration areas were evaluated by the public and measured by Ipsos.
Harris said in the last three years the "traffic light measurement" rating for the 25 policy areas in the "red light" zone had increased from 15 to 22.
Red light areas (50 percent and below) needed immediate attention and action.
Orange light areas (from 51 percent to 74 percent) needed urgent attention, and green light areas (75 percent and above) needed maintenance, Harris said.
In November 2011, 15 of the 25 policy areas fell in the 'red light' category.
A year later 17 into the category, and in November last year, 22 were in the red light category, Harris said.