April 2024

Perceptions of the Multi-Party Charter

This report examines the perceptions of registered South African voters towards the Multi-Party Charter* and specifically the prospects for the success of that charter in government. The report is based on a survey of 1 835 demographically and geographically representative registered voters conducted by the Foundation during April of 2024. That survey had a margin of error of 2.2%.

*for readers who are not familiar, the 'Multi-Party Charter’ is a pact of centrist opposition parties in South Africa looking to displace the ruling ANC party.

How familiar are you with the MPC?


Do you believe these opposition parties will succeed or fail in bringing the ANC below 50% and forming an alternative government?

Succeed or fail

The MPC will function well and provide clean, effective governance VS The MPC will quickly fall apart over infighting

All registered voters

The MPC will be able to agree on a clear set of policies VS The MPC will not be able to agree on a clear set of policies

All registered voters


A first point is that there are very low levels of public familiarity with the MPC and that what familiarity there is, is chiefly concentrated in the middle classes. Despite low familiarity levels, a significant majority of voters were confident enough to say that they believe the MPC could bring about the defeat of the ANC in the May 29 election. When asked about the prospects for the successful functioning or otherwise of the MPC in government an interesting phenomenon emerged in that strong majorities of voters believed that the MPC would both succeed and fail. This is not an uncommon result in public opinion polling and reveals a broader lack of awareness and general superficial understanding of the issue in question. It further reveals the potential for political actors to drive public opinion on the matter in question in various different directions. When voters were asked whether they believed that MPC parties could agree on a clear set of policies the same apparent impossible contradiction emerged from the data.