Jacob Zuma and Tokyo Sexwale score low in a youth survey indicating there’s much work to be done.
A poll done by insights company Pondering Panda that covered 4 673 youths over the age of 18 has found that President Jacob Zuma will need to work hard to gain the youths’ confidence in the next elections. The same goes for Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale. If he has his eye on the presidency he will need more active engagement with the youth with regards to who he is and what he can offer to the country.
The results showed that Sexwale is an unknown quantity to many South Africans. When asked who they would prefer as president, Zuma or Sexwale, 64% rejected both candidates, 19% said Zuma and 17% said Sexwale.
We chatted to Butch Rice of Pondering Panda for more insights garnered through his research.
Why is the youth vote so important in South Africa?
Because there are a lot more of the under 35s than the over 35s.
How can the candidates gain the confidence of the youth?
By being seen to be delivering. The youth are tired of empty promises.
What issues need to be addressed to gain more youth support?
Simple. Education and unemployment.
Are the youth involved enough in what is going on politically?
Probably not. They are primarily interested in getting an education and finding a job.
What can the candidates do to get the youth more involved in the political processes of the country?
Watch what Malema did. He currently has the support of 15 to 20% of the youth. This is enough to start a new political party.
Based on your research, how likely is it that Sexwale will run for president?
At this stage, it would appear unlikely, unless he doesn't realise how much work he has to do. Right now [Deputy President Kgalema] Motlanthe is far and away the favourite among South African youth.
How will Zuma's lack of support for the ANC Youth League aid or take away support from the youth?
The youth vote appears to have been completely lost for Zuma. It is hard to be definitive, but it is more likely to be due to non-delivery on education and jobs than anything else.