MK Party surges to 13% in poll - Brenthurst Foundation

Survey finds DA support up, is the only party with a positive net favourability rating

STATEMENT: New Election Survey Shows DA, MK Party Surge as ANC and EFF Tumble

The Brenthurst Foundation’s election survey conducted by SABI Strategy in February and March 2024, shows that John Steenhuisen’s DA and Jacob Zuma’s MK Party are the biggest winners as the ANC, EFF and the IFP are losing ground.

8 March 2024 

National Election

Voters appear to have left the ANC, EFF and IFP for Zuma’s party in significant numbers. The MK Party is set to overtake the EFF (10%) with 13% of the vote.

The DA has grown its share of the vote to 27% (from 23% in October 2023).

The IFP’s support has fallen to 2% (from 7% in October 2023).

The Multiparty Charter (MPC) coalition (DA, IFP, ActionSA, FF+, ACDP among others) has 33% of the vote (down from 36% in October 2023) .

South Africa will almost certainly have a coalition government after this election as the ANC has slid further to 39% of the vote.

Key Provinces

1. GAUTENG: The DA has 32% of the vote (up from 24% in October 2023) and the ANC has 34% (down from 37% in October 2023). The MPC coaltiion (DA, IFP, ActionSA, FF+, ACDP among others) has 38% of the vote. A coalition government will run this province.

2. KWAZULU NATAL: Zuma’s MK Party is set to be the largest party in KwaZulu-Natal with 25% of the vote with the ANC (20%), DA (19%) and the IFP (19%) running neck-and-neck.

The aggregated vote for the MPC is 39%. A coalition government will run this province.

3. THE WESTERN CAPE: The DA looks set to continue to runt the Western Cape, with a majority of 53% (down from 56% in October 2023) while the ANC has risen sharply to 35% from 22% in October 2023.


80% of voters said the country was going in the wrong direction with just 17% saying it was going in the right direction.

Voters said the biggest facing South Africa were unemployment (28%), corruption (27%), load shedding (17%) and weak leadership (12%).

Weak leadership (12%) overtook crime (11%) as the fourth most pressing issue.

Over half (53%) said “The ANC government of the last three decades” was to blame, followed by 11% who said apartheid was to blame.

Foreign Policy

Some 43% of voters believe that South Africa should align itself with the West and other democratic nations, with 22% saying it should align itself with Africa and only 19% saying it should align itself with BRICS, suggesting that the ANC’s decision to move into the BRICS camp may be costing it votes.

More than 50% of voters said the ANC’s policy on the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts would not affect the way they voted.

24% of voters said they were “less likely” to vote for the ANC as a result of its policy on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

23% of voters said they were “less likely” to vote for the ANC over its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

23% of voters said they were “less likely” to vote for the ANC over its stance on Zimbabwe.

Domestic Policy

39% of voters said the best way to put more money in people’s pockets was by “making it easier to start small businesses”. A further 25% said “reducing taxes” while 20% said “increasing social grants” and 10% said “decreasing the cost of the civil service.

42% said social grant payments should be increased. Asked how this should be funded, 51% said by “spending less on civil servants” and 22% said by increasing taxes.

Asked how government could decrease the cost of the civil service, 45% said by reducing the size of the civil service by 10% or more. A further 35% said by “cutting civil service salaries and perks”.


32% of voters said the Western Cape was South Africa’s best governed province with Gauteng a distant second at 18%.

33% said Cape Town was the country’s best governed city. Johannesburg was second with just 12%.

An equal number of voters (33%) believe the DA and the ANC are the parties most effective at governing with the EFF a distant third with 9%.


Voters were asked who they rated favourably and who they rated unfavourably. The net overall favourability score was obtained by subtracting unfavourability from favourability.

The DA enjoyed the highest overall favourability ranking for political parties (4%) with the ANC second (-4%). Least favourable was the FF+ (-31%), with the IFP and the EFF scoring -30%.

Cyril Ramaphosa (6%) and John Steenhuisen (-6%) had the best overall favourability rating followed by the IFP’s Velenkosi Hlabisa (-12%) with Jacob Zuma with the worst ranking at -31% and Julius Malema close behind with -29%.


76% of voters said they would be happy for a coalition to govern South Africa, up from 74% in October 2023. 61% said they believed a coalition of many different parties could “effectively govern” South Africa.

Asked about which coalitions they favoured, 29% said the Multiparty Charter coalition (DA, IFP, Action SA, FF+, ACDP and others), 25% said an ANC-DA coalition and 24% said an ANC-EFF coalition.

26% of South Africans said they were more likely to vote for an opposition party following the launch of the MPC.

Comment by The Brenthurst Foundation Director, Dr Greg Mills:

"South Africa's political environment has been substantially shaken up and the old assumptions are no longer true. There is a viable and competitive opposition emerging. We are heading for a transition away from one-party dominance, which can only be good for democracy, policy competitiveness, delivery and accountability."

Statement issued by Greg Mills, Director, The Brenthurst Foundation, and Ray Hartley, Research Director, The Brenthurst Foundation, 8 March 2024