It gives us the assurance that our people are the true custodians of our freedom and democracy.”
These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa after his party claimed a victory of 57.50% in South Africa’s sixth General Elections.
Thanking the millions of South Africans who braved the rain and cold to cast their vote on 8 May, the President said the elections were confirmation of freedom and democracy in action.
Prefacing the announcement of the elections, IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo described this year’s elections, with 48 political parties vying for the shot to steer the country, as the most “complex and highly contested”.
While the ANC received the majority of votes, the Democratic Alliance clenched the title of official opposition at 20.7%, while the Economic Freedom Fighters came in third on the leader board.
The Electoral Commission announced the official results of the elections at its results nerve centre, the National Results Operation Centre (ROC) based in Pretoria, on 11 May 2019.
President Ramaphosa saluted the elderly, who have remained committed to their civic duty since 1994 and passed his condolences to those who lost their lives on their way to make their mark.
“We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Ms Susan Mohanoua Matona from Vanderbijlpark in Sedibeng and Mr Dirk Henry Osche from Elandspoort in Tshwane.
“We must honour their memories by deepening our democratic culture and defending, with all we have, the right to vote,” said the President.
Call for more young voters
While the President applauded young voters who participated in the elections, he called for more increased participation from the youth.
“We do, however, want that keen interest to grow. Many young people are outside the fold,” said the President.
The President also thanked the various political parties, who participated in the elections, for ensuring that peace and calm characterised the entire election season.
Moving South Africa forward
Turning his focus to the work of building the country, President Ramaphosa said South Africans have given the elected leaders a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all.
“Let us now work together – black and white, women and men, young and old – to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it, one which is united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous,” said the President.