Global social media partially freaks out after Jacob Zuma’s exit

jacob zuma sona social media governmentza flickr
President Jacob Zuma delivering his keynote address at the launch the New Metro Commercialised Full Train Service, the "People's Train" at the Bosman train station, in Pretoria.09/05/2017

Step aside Cape Town water crisis. South Africa has a new big international story that’s gracing the home pages of world media websites.

According to numbers released by analytics firm Meltwater, more than 20 000 articles focussing on the resignation of President Jacob Zuma’s have been penned within the past 24 hours.

The United States — currently processing pressing political issues of its own, including the DACA bill and government spending — has seen three times as many pieces published on by its own media outlets when compared to that of South Africa’s.

“The massive online response we’ve seen is no doubt in part owing to both the media and public’s relief that they finally have some idea whose political program the country will be following,” explained Matthew Barclay, Meltwater’s Africa director.

“We now wait in anticipation of the postponed #SONA Address this Friday, and more importantly, the budget speech to be delivered on the 21st February.”

Unsurprisingly, the company also noted an uptick in “negative” comments towards Zuma, with “47% of total conversations” lamenting his time in power.

In total, the outgoing president has seen more than 180 000 social mentions across the world since his resignation.

But South Africans will need to find a new politician to fling their anger towards.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will give South Africans the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) since 2008 that doesn’t involve Jacob Zuma tomorrow in Cape Town.

Feature image: former President Jacob Zuma in June 2017, by GovernmentZA via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY-ND)

Andy Walker, former editor


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.