As South Africa’s seclusion regulations become more and more relaxed, support for Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic is also increasing.
According to an online opinion poll by the University of Johannesburg (UJ)’s Center for Social Change and the Humanities Research Council’s (HSRC) Division for a Developing, Skilled and Ethical State, there was a decline among all socio-economic groups in Ramaphosa’s popularity.
Support for Ramaphosa among residents of informal settlements fell from 86% to 71% and support among students fell from 77% to 62%.
White adults ‘support for the president fell by an almighty 49 percentage points from 90% to 41% and adult Indians’ support for the president fell from 82% to 33%.
Those who believe people should be allowed to buy cigarettes have risen from 29% to 55% and those who believe alcohol sales should be allowed have risen from 13% to 32%. The ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol has since been lifted.
Yet South Africans are still willing to give up some of their rights to help combat the spread of Covid-19 – although the biggest support for this was among ANC supporters, the researchers found.
However, the number of people who were previously completely willing to give up their real price is steadily declining. It dropped from 78% (during the previous survey) to 70%.
Willingness to give up certain rights:
- ANC: 78%
- EFF: 74%
- DA: 53%
According to the researchers, ANC supporters are more willing to give up their right to work, while those who support the EFF would rather give up the right to attend school.
Although places of worship were one of the first to be reopened after initial seclusion, the right to go to a place of worship was also the first right people were willing to give up. However, South Africans are not in a hurry to simply renounce their right to privacy.
What rights will people give up?
- Right to go to a place of worship: 56%
- Right to travel between places: 52%
- Right to attend school and university: 34%
- Ready to work: 30%
- Right to privacy: 19%
- Not willing to give up any real price: 22%
The researchers found that those who trusted the president were more willing to give up their rights in an effort to help stem the pandemic. White South Africans and more affluent South Africans are the most reluctant to give up any real price.
“People who feel angry, frustrated or sad are less likely to trust the president and also less willing to give up any real price to protect others. “Those who are afraid are more likely to trust the president and are also more willing to give up their rights to help stop the spread of the virus.
While thousands of learners will return to schools next week, most people who took part in the study are opposed to reopening schools this year.
Only 13% of people think schools should reopen for all grades this year, 21% think schools should only for gr. 7- and gr. 12 learners reopened and 60% of people indicated that schools should not reopen at all this year.
Those in higher income groups are more likely to be in favor of reopening schools. A total of 41% of people who earn more than R20 000 per month believe that schools should reopen, while 67% of people who earn less than R1 000 per month believe that schools should remain closed.