Ratings come home to roost
FOR MOST South African citizens, “ratings” have become a sinister term used by overseas credit agencies to assess the state of the local economy.
We have become wearisomely familiar with the pronouncements of the agencies that we enjoy “junk” status, although this is a recent development.
However, the practice of applying ratings to political leaders is well established elsewhere. In Europe, President Hollande consistently polled about 15%, as against Macron’s current rating of over 60%.
In the US, political ratings have a long tradition. Currently President Trump’s “approval rating” is steadily sinking and threats of impeachment loom. But Trump is a billionaire TV host who has become a politician, without experience.
Further, this rating is hardly surprising, given persistent allegations of Russian connections, his personal hostility to the media, his aggressive foreign policy and belligerent dictatorial behaviour, as well as failures in health care and job creation.
The parallel with the Zuma administration is obvious, with the Zupta infiltration, corruption, “state capture”, unemploymen and vacillation over land policy. It seems extraordinary that Zuma’s “disapproval rating” is hardly ever mentioned, although a figure of 70% had a brief currency.