Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be the most favoured candidate to take over from President Jacob Zuma after the next general elections, a survey revealed on Tuesday.
The survey was conducted by New World Wealth, a group which provides information on the global wealth sector, with a special focus on high growth markets.
The survey was conducted through one-on-one questionnaires with 1 200 candidates from different demographic and income groups across South Africa.
Of those polled, 71% said the businessman would be the best candidate, while the ruling party’s secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, came in second with 10%.
“He is widely tipped to be the next leader of the ANC, especially if Ramaphosa decides not to run,” said New World Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils.
“He is a former chairperson of the South African Communist Party [SACP] and, like Ramaphosa, he is the former secretary general of NUM [National Union of Mineworkers].”
Eight percent of those polled believed that ANC chairperson and Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete would be a good president.
Amoils said there had been strong calls from the ANC Women’s League for a woman to hold the top position.
“It is difficult to say if she will run for the ANC leadership. At this point, she is considered to be the likely vice presidential candidate for the ANC at the next election,” Amoils said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the strongest opposition party, Mmusi Maimane, came in fourth on the list, scoring 6% of the votes.
“The DA’s decision to elect Maimane in May 2015 was widely heralded by the local media. His appointment is clearly aimed at winning the African vote,” said Amoils.
He said this, however, may make the party lose its white voters.
“Having an African leader and one with so little experience may well push many more experienced white people out of the party and voters are likely to notice.”
Amoils said another party may emerge to attract the white vote.
Number five on the list was EFF leader, Julius Malema.
He scored just below Maimane, at 5%.
“He is a well-known proponent of Robert Mugabe-type policies such as nationalisation,” said Amoils.
“Notably, in 2000, following a referendum defeat to an opposition party, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF government banned the free media, nationalised several businesses and ordered land invasions of white-owned farms.
“Mugabe was also implicated in the rigging of several elections in his favour. There are concerns that SA could go down a similar path if Malema comes to power,” said Amoils.