SA voters' optimism surges under Ramaphosa presidency: poll


File: Residents walk with President Ramaphosa. Confidence among South African voters has surged since the president was sworn in.

JOHANNESBURG - The majority of South Africans who are eligible to vote believe that the country will thrive under newly sworn in President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa replaced former President Jacob Zuma who stepped down last month under pressure from both opposition parties and his ruling ANC amid allegations that his wealthy friends the Gupta family tried to use its personal ties with him to influence the government and state firms. Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied being corrupt.



A mobile survey conducted by Kantar Public from February 20-26 among a sample of 1112 South African adults and representative of all the countrie&39;s race, gender, income and province demographics found that 73 percent were optimistic the ailing economy would grow at a healthier pace under Ramaphosa.

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Of those interviewed, 65 percent were ‘happy’ with Zuma’s resignation  on February, against a quarter who were not. In Zuma&39;s home province of  Kwazulu-Natal, where he enjoys the most support, 49 percent were not happy with his stepping down, while 39 percent were.

The survey also measured opinion about support in the run-up to next year&39;s general elections for the governing African National Congress, which has held power since the fall of white minority rule in 1994, but has seen its popularity wane.



"Fifty-nine percent of respondents felt support for the party would grow over the next year, but this varied along racial lines, with two-thirds of black people holding this opinion while only 38 percent of white, Indian and Coloured South Africans shared a similar view.



The mobile survey, conducted via short message service (SMS),  was administered by Kantar Public four days after Ramaphosa gave his inaugural state of the nation address.