One in four young South Africans would vote for expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, a survey revealed.
“It’s clear that a significant number of young people are dissatisfied with the ANC and would turn to Julius Malema as an alternative if he created a new political party,” said Shirley Wakefield, of consumer insights company Pondering Panda.
The survey polled 3585 young people aged between 18 and 34 across South Africa.
According to the poll, 35 percent said they would vote for the African National Congress, 26 percent said they would vote for Malema’s party, and 15 percent said they would vote for the Democratic Alliance.
However, 14 percent said they would stay away from the polls, and six percent said their vote would go to another party.
The other four percent was unsure of how their ballots would be cast.
Thirty-five percent of the men surveyed said Malema would get their vote, compared to 18 percent of the women.
Most of the support for Malema came from young black South Africans, with 30 percent saying they would give him their vote.
There was no significant difference of opinion among age groups.
In a separate survey, the youth were asked whether they thought it was a good idea for Malema to start a new political party.
Forty percent said a party led by Malema was a good idea.
The survey found they were most likely to support it because they believed he would do more to help poor people than other political parties.
Those who thought Malema’s party was a good idea were also found to be dissatisfied with the ANC.
More than two out of three felt the ANC had not kept the promises they made in the last election.
“It is striking that those who support Malema feel that he would be more fair than the ANC towards the people of South Africa,” Wakefield said.
“They believe that the ruling party is not doing enough to lift people out of poverty, and that Malema would do more for South Africa’s poor, if elected.”
Malema reportedly announced earlier this month that he was launching the political platform, Economic Freedom Fighters, to shift the approach to the country’s problems from “reconciliation” to “justice”.
He reportedly said that as the ANC’s integrity and credibility gradually decreased, it would lose support, independent trade unions would become bigger and stronger, and the country would degenerate into a kleptocracy (rule by thieves).