Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LISA HNATOWICZ
Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LISA HNATOWICZ

Nearly 60% of South Africans think the government is not managing the economy well, according to a poll by Ipsos.

The “Pulse of the People” report released by Ipsos on Tuesday shows that 59% do not think the government is doing a good job with the economy. This, however, is a vast improvement from the previous year’s data when only 25% thought the government was managing the economy well.

“It is clear that, although the situation is marginally better than a year ago and South Africans are still determined to be optimistic about where they will be this time next year, they are still of the opinion that the issues of service delivery, job creation and a host of other relevant issues need serious attention from the government,” Ipsos said in a statement.

This comes a day before finance minister Tito Mboweni delivers the 2019 budget. Mboweni will have to navigate dealing with embattled power utility Eskom and the prospect of another credit rating downgrade.

The Ipsos poll is based on a representative sample of at least 3,500 adult South Africans and was conducted between October 23 and December 4 2018. Respondents were given a list of policy areas that they could rate whether the government was handling them “very well”, “fairly well”, “not very well” or “not at all well”.

The poll shows that 50% think the government is “encouraging international investment” but 55% are worried about the level of services received from government departments.

Only 29% say the country is going in the right direction. About 55% believe the country is moving in the wrong direction — an improvement from the year before when the figure was 66%. 

About half of the supporters of each of the three biggest political parties say the country is going in the wrong direction.

About a quarter of supporters of both the ANC and the DA feel that they are better off than before, while supporters of the EFF  say they’re worse off than a year ago.

The DA supporters are the most optimistic with 38% saying they expect to be better off in a year’s time, followed by 33% of ANC supporters and 28% of EFF supporters.

menons@businesslive.co.za