Outages fuel voter antipathy to South Africa’s ANC, poll shows

15th March 2023 By: Bloomberg

Outages fuel voter antipathy to South Africa’s ANC, poll shows

More than half of South African taxpayers want to vote the governing party out of power in next year’s elections because of rolling blackouts, a survey shows.

An online poll of almost 1 500 adults last month found that 65% of middle-income earners are seriously considering not voting for the African National Congress (ANC) in next year’s general elections, according to a BrandMapp-Silverstone report published on the website of Cape Town-based consultancy WhyFive.

Africa’s most industrialised economy has been subjected to rolling blackouts, known locally as loadshedding, since 2008 because State power utility Eskom has been unable to meet demand from its old and poorly maintained plants. The daily outages are costing the country as much as R899-million per day and hobbling economic growth, with output only expected to increase 0.3% this year, according to the central bank.

“Taxpayers of South Africa are being pushed to the limits, not just of their tolerance, but of their ability to remain resilient, productive and positive about the future,” the company said. “It could be argued that all social revolutions begin at the crest of a wave of urgency, and if that is indeed true, then we have certainly reached that point.”

About 14.7-million individuals in a working-age population of 40.5-million are registered taxpayers in South Africa, according to National Treasury data.

The survey also found that:

“We’ve been forced back 100 years,” BrandMapp-Silverstone said. “When candle power is the best solution, you have to know there’s a problem!”