News & events


12 August 2020

South Africa: The Calculus of Trust – Diminished Public Confidence in the President’s Performance

By Ben Roberts, Martin Bekker, Stephen Rule, Mark Orkin, Narnia Bohler-Muller & Kate Alexander

Confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s handling of the pandemic has dropped substantially, after enthusiastic support during the hard lockdown period. Majority support remains, though telling divisions among the public have emerged. In this article, we profile this change and the association between confidence and Covid-19-relevant attitudes and behaviour.

At the end of April 2020 and after the first month of a full-blown national pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s strong messaging and decisive actions with the announcement of the national lockdown galvanised robust “trust in the President”. This was the baseline finding from the first round of the UJ-HSRC Democracy Lockdown Survey which collected online responses between 13 April and 11 May 2020.

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