Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visits Eunice Mthembu during an ANC campaign in Nquthu in April. Ramaphosa has subsequently said economic transformation should not ‘enrich the few’ but should lead to inclusive growth for all South Africans. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visits Eunice Mthembu during an ANC campaign in Nquthu in April. Ramaphosa has subsequently said economic transformation should not ‘enrich the few’ but should lead to inclusive growth for all South Africans. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The majority of South Africans favour business-friendly, job-creating policies over the "radical economic transformation" rhetoric of the ANC, according to a survey by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

In a report written by researcher RW Johnson titled, "Ramaphosa and the Strange Workings of ANC Democracy", the institute said its poll of 5,000 South Africans found the views of the electorate completely out of sync with the policies adopted at the ruling party’s conference in December.

The IRR said its poll showed Cyril Ramaphosa should have won the ANC presidency by a landslide instead of just scraping through ahead of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"One cannot understand the results without realising that power in today’s ANC lies largely with great regional barons who control patronage, jobs, tenders and contracts," Johnson wrote.

"Three such barons are particularly visible: David Mabuza of Mpumalanga, Ace Magashule of the Free State and Supra Mahumapelo of the North West. All three men rule their provinces with a rod of iron."

In September, the IRR found 48.4% of ANC voters favoured Ramaphosa and only 21% Dlamini-Zuma. Another poll in November found Ramaphosa’s lead had widened to 64% against 14%.

The pollsters also asked ANC voters whether they preferred the "radical economic transformation" policies of Dlamini-Zuma, or whether they would prefer a more pro-business orientation in the hope of more jobs.

The IRR’s poll found African voters preferred pro-job creation policies with a majority of five versus two.

"The results were striking. ANC voters everywhere said that President Jacob Zuma was a disgrace: he had pulled the country down and brought pervasive corruption, the cause of every woe," Johnson wrote.

"Then came the ANC conference where one saw the full power of the regional patronage barons, of Zuma’s incumbency, and of the bribery and manipulation of the delegates from the ANC branches."

Read the full report here

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