ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa waves at supporters after delivering his speech at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, May 5 2019. Picture: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa waves at supporters after delivering his speech at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, May 5 2019. Picture: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

An overwhelming win for the ANC in the elections will allow President Cyril Ramaphosa the opportunity to implement new growth reforms, but it has a one-third chance of doing so, according to a poll.

An online election survey  by Intellidex found that while domestic and international captains of industry predicted a win for the governing party, they believed Ramaphosa, who is facing an intensified fightback campaign by his comrades for his reform agenda, will survive until 2022 at least.

The survey by the capital markets and financial services research firm indicated that there was a moderately high degree of confidence that a “mandate threshold” existed.

The term related to a percentage of ANC votes that would provide Ramaphosa with a platform to institute reforms after the elections, in which the survey predicted a 57.4% win for the ANC, followed by the DA at 20.7% and the EFF at 11.4%.

“The latter two are in line with Intellidex’s views but the ANC is looking a little high versus our view of closer to 55%,” the research firm said.

The company, which polled 46 decision-makers from local and offshore asset managers and hedge funds, investment banks, institutional stockbrokers and wealth managers, said the markets believed there was a one-third chance of growth-boosting reforms after Wednesday’s vote.

Intellidex said market participants also believed that asset prices could enjoy a sustained rally should the ANC “attain a certain level of votes but they don’t see this level actually being reached”.

They were also “roughly split down the middle” regarding whether the ANC, which has been in power for a quarter-century, would keep the country’s economic heartland of Gauteng.

However, finance minister Tito Mboweni and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan were largely expected to retain their posts after May 8.

The poll indicated that 60.1% of offshore buyside were confident that a “mandate threshold” existed for Ramaphosa to implement his reform agenda, against onshore buyside’s 73.3%, and nonfinancial’s 47.4%.

The Economist endorsed Ramaphosa recently, saying a “solid majority would make it easier for him to face the mafia within his own party and prevail”.

However, the latest poll by the SA Institute of Race Relations (IRR) showed that if the voter turnout was 72%, the ANC would win 51% of the national vote, down 5.2 percentage points since a February survey. The ANC received 62.15% support during the 2014 national elections.

The IRR poll predicted that the DA would attain 24% of support, followed by the EFF at 14%.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za