On the eve of President Jacob Zuma’s fourth State of the Nation address, government received a lukewarm approval rating from South Africans as far as performance goes. According to the latest poll conducted by market research company Ipsos Markinor, 52% of adult South Africans thought government performed “well”. The performance rating took a significant plunge since May 2012 when 62% of respondents showed confidence in government.
What’s more, four provinces – the Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and the Free State – outperformed national government when their performances were evaluated. The Western Cape provincial government boasts the highest approval rating at 63%, followed by the North West at 59%. In Gauteng, the hub of economic activity in SA, the provincial government scored only one percentage point higher than the national rating at 53%.
In most provinces, the performance evaluation of the premier was closely related to the provincial government, except in the Free State and Mpumalange. Free State premier Ace Magashule and his Mpumalanga counterpart David Mabuza, each scored a 71%-rating, while their provincial governments got 55% and 58% approval ratings, respectively. Western Cape premier Helen Zille scored third highest at 69% and Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane scored 59%.
Both Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, which have been plagued by poor governance and financial management issues, have performed poorly. National government last year intervened and placed various departments in these provinces under administration. Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale and his government received a 48% approval rating, while Noxolo Kiviet, Eastern Cape premier, got a dismal 33% and her provincial government 34%.