Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

T-Bone's losing the love
Thabo Mbeki's approval rating has fallen to its lowest in four years, around 40%. This is not the lowest it's ever been, but is markedly lower than the 2005 euphoria, when it as about 61%.

It's easy to see why if one looks at three key trends. Firstly, Mbeki is in the last vestiges of his second term, and has largely given up on creating policy, with his vision very squarely on who will succeed him. Secondly, his paranoia has grown exponentially in the past three years, and some of his decision-making has been questionable at best(Pikoli, Manto, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge), which has certainly led to some strain in confidence. Finally, there is the succession battle, which is splitting the ANC membership base, and thus the nation, and views are hardening on either side.

All of these factors together explain this slide, which is common in the final years of a presidential term. Expect it to get worse in the next year...