Political parties welcome announcement of election date

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Political parties have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the national and provincial elections date yesterday.

South Africans will vote on May 29, 2024.

The African National Congress (ANC) says it is ready for the battle at the polls, which will start in earnest with the launch of the party’s elections manifesto at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban this weekend.

The ANC has called on all South Africans to vote.

The party’s Head of Elections, Mdumiseni Ntuli says, “We started laying the foundation early last year when we were conducting an assessment of our election machinery throughout the country and strengthening areas where there were certain challenges that were identified.”

“We are now at the point where we have assembled the best possible team to lead and to coordinate the campaign  in all nine provinces, so we are ready and when the President announced the election date  all that came to our minds was that the battle begins Mayihlome.”

Election date

The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says he is happy that the President has heeded calls, including from his party, to give certainty on the election date.

Steenhuisen says, “I am very comfortable with where we are at from the polling end, particularly the hard work that has been done on registration. Our manifesto is launched, it has been favourably received and we are absolutely committed to bringing an end to the 30 years of ANC corruption, failure and state capture.”

“I think the upcoming elections are now an opportunity for the most important people in a democracy – the voters – to choose a path of progress, transparency and accountability, and so we say bring it on, we are looking forward to meeting this campaign head on and laying our vision of hope, prosperity and opportunity for South Africans.”

Freedom day

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says it considers May 29 to be a freedom day of sorts for South Africa given that it will herald a change from corruption, unemployment and poverty.

However,  IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the party is concerned about how the election date is determined and announced.

Hlengwa says, “Going forward there has to be serious changes as to how election dates are announced and managed. For it to be the sole prerogative of the President without any transparency or serious consultation with those who are the stakeholders of the election process gives a monopoly and a competitive advantage to those in office, in this case obviously the ANC. But for the IFP it is all systems go and our election committee will be streamlining all our plans to make sure that going forward everything goes according to plan.”

Ready to fix South Africa

ActionSA says it is ready to fix South Africa.

National Chairperson Michael Beaumont says the work to rebuild South Africa can only be done once the ANC is out of power.

Beaumont says, “ActionSA notes the announcement by President Ramaphosa that 29 May 2024 is the date at which South Africa will begin the journey of change and we invite him and his Premiers to begin packing their offices and updating their CVs.”

“ActionSA has resolved to run a positive campaign which will be a departure from a political establishment that has failed South Africans by focusing on one another more than it is focused on the crisis that has developed under their time in Parliament. ActionSA’s campaign will strive to show all South Africans that we can fix South Africa but this work can only begin once the ANC is removed from office.”

VIDEO: Interview with IEC deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi on election date:

Additional reporting by Zoleka Qodashe.