Government thanks voters

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Government has thanked the millions of South Africans who successfully went out in their numbers to make their voices heard in the seventh democratic elections by casting their votes.

“Particularly noteworthy is how first-time voters clearly came out in their numbers to affirm their right to vote and in so doing their commitment to a democratic and free country, a country which knows its freedom came at a high price,” Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General, Nomonde Mnukwa, said on Thursday.

South Africans went to the polls on Wednesday in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

These elections coincide with the country’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy.

“The youth of South Africa have confirmed their commitment to shaping our nation’s future in this election and their engagement in the electoral process is a testament to their adherence to constitutional values. We salute you all,” Mnukwa said.

The GCIS said the unwavering commitment, dedication and professionalism of various stakeholders and role players was instrumental in ensuring that the country held successful elections. 

“The conduct of the electorate during this process has been exemplary as a testament to the founding principles of the country’s democracy and is a reflection of a nation hallmarked and acknowledged globally by a regular, credible electoral process since 1994.

“This active participation of citizens is indeed a cornerstone of our democratic process and will go a long way in building a vibrant and representative nation,” the GCIS said.

Law enforcement agencies working through the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) were crucial in ensuring safe and peaceful elections.

“This ensured that all citizens exercise their democratic right to campaign and cast their vote freely and without fear. The security measures, most notably in identified hotspot areas, contributed to elections that were peaceful and safe.  Where incidents were reported, these were swiftly addressed not only by law enforcement and officials of the Electoral Commission (IEC).”

The voting process by the IEC across all correctional facilities concluded without significant issues.

“This is an important milestone for a democratic country, ensuring that eligible voters, including the incarcerated, participate in the electoral process. The synergy amongst correctional officials in preparing inmates and ushering them to the voting stations made it possible for the IEC to guarantee a seamless and secure voting experience for inmates.

“The Department of Home Affairs also ensured that all South Africans had identification documents for the purpose of casting their votes with extended operating hours and issuing of temporary ID documents to enable the public to have the necessary documents that enabled them to vote.

 “Since the dawn of democracy, South Africa’s general elections have been viewed as free and fair by both domestic and international observers, and this serves as encouragement for the country to continue to uphold the integrity of the electoral processes,” GCIS said.

Government acknowledged the invaluable contributions of community leaders, elections officials, volunteers, and all who played various roles in facilitating successful elections. 

“Working together, the teams were instrumental in ensuring voter education and accessibility for all eligible voters. All sectors of society are commended for making it possible for the elections to be held in such a peaceful, nonviolent, and safe manner,” GCIS said.

The election was also marked by a record number of political parties as well as independent candidates for the first time, which is a reflection of South Africa’s maturing multiparty democracy.

The cooperation by all political parties is a demonstration of the collective spirit of ensuring that all citizens exercise their democratic right to vote.

“The role of the various communication channels and platforms, as well as national and international media in ensuring comprehensive coverage of our elections confirms the crucial role of media in strengthening democracy and civic education. Throughout this elections period, the media played a critical role in reflecting on our advances, challenges and our developmental journey since 1994,” GCIS said.

Government has thanked the various partners from state entities but also various agencies, civil society and the non-government sector, as well as the media, who played an assertive role during the elections period, to curb disinformation and misinformation thus contributing to the integrity of information circulated during the electoral process.

Vote counting and establishing a new administration

 “As the counting process unfolds, the public is urged to refrain from sharing information in the form of pictures and videos that seek to declare elections results or incite violence pertaining to elections results. Elections results will be announced officially by the IEC as the body that is legally mandated to announce elections results,” Mnukwa said.

Government has reiterated that there will be no vacuum as South Africa journey’s to the establishment of the seventh democratic administration and whilst the country awaits the outcomes of the elections.

Government will continue to execute its Constitutional mandate of providing services to all South Africans. –