Support for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress would likely collapse if President Cyril Ramaphosa leaves office, a survey showed.
The survey of 3,200 registered voters was carried out by the Social Research Foundation in July and released on Friday, two days after an advisory panel found grounds for lawmakers to consider impeaching Ramaphosa over his alleged failure to properly report a robbery.
The president confirmed that $580,000 hidden in a sofa at his game farm was stolen but denied doing anything wrong.
National elections are scheduled for 2024.
Of the survey respondents who said they backed the ANC, almost half stressed that Ramaphosa is a “very important” reason for their continued support.
Fifteen percent of them said they would support another party if he was no longer in the ANC, while 39% would vote for a breakaway party that backed him.
“The ANC’s electoral fortunes are disproportionately tied to Mr. Ramaphosa,” the SRF said.
“Should he depart the party its prospects for sustaining its majority in 2024 are not very good and in the aftermath of a national defeat its support levels amongst registered voters could well slip to between 30% and 40%.”
The ANC, which has held power since South Africa’s first multiracial elections in 1994, won 57.5% of the vote in the last national elections in 2019. Ramaphosa came to power in 2018.