Johannesburg – Young South Africans prefer Kgalema Motlanthe to Jacob Zuma as a presidential candidate, although neither of them are too popular, according to a survey released on Monday.
“Given the choice of the two candidates, Kgalema Motlanthe is a clear winner,” said Butch Rice, market analyst for consumer insights company Pondering Panda.
In a survey of 4 637 South Africans aged between 18 and 34, some 23% said they would like President Zuma to continue his presidency in 2014.
Thirty-six percent of respondents chose Deputy President Motlanthe, when given the choice between him and Zuma.
“It is clear that the youth of South Africa have lost faith in President Zuma. If he were to continue his presidency, it is likely to alienate young South Africans even more,” Rice said.
Forty-one percent of respondents rejected both candidates.
“However, what is most concerning is the high percentage of the youth who reject both candidates. We expect this to affect their propensity to vote in the next election, which could have a significant impact on the outcome for the different political parties.”
The survey found significant demographic differences, particularly in terms of race and region.
Young black South Africans (25%) were most likely to select Zuma as their preferred president.
However, 42% chose Motlanthe, and 33% disliked both candidates.
Eighty-one percent of Indians, 75% of coloureds, and 70% of whites rejected both candidates.
KwaZulu-Natal was the only region in which Zuma was preferred to Motlanthe. Here, 45% of respondents chose Zuma, compared to 22% for Motlanthe.
Motlanthe was most popular in Limpopo, where 56% of respondents chose him, compared to 17% for Zuma.
The interviews were conducted across South Africa using cellphones during the first two weeks of August.