Thank you for voting peacefully

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Government has thanked the millions of South Africans from all walks of life who voted in the country’s sixth democratic national and provincial elections.

“Thank you, South Africa, we have done it again. We have kept our democracy strong and vibrant and have contributed to a better tomorrow,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting Director-General Phumla Williams on Thursday.

Government said this demonstration of active citizenship and patriotism displayed by countless South Africans was truly inspirational.

“We appreciate the tolerance, dignity and patience with which voters conducted themselves as they waited to cast their vote,” GCIS said in a statement.

Government said these elections are an affirmation of the strength of the country’s democracy; the voices of millions of voters are a testament that South Africans take their hard won right to vote, very seriously.

“Our regular elections since 1994 and the work of successive democratic administrations, has built on our Constitutional democracy. These elections have shown that our democracy is alive and that freedom reigns,” the GCIS said.

These successful elections are a culmination of years of work by the IEC, including two hugely successful voter registration weekends prior to the elections, where over a million new voters were registered.

Of the 700 000 new voters who registered during the final registration weekend in January this year, over 81% [574 899] were under 30-years-old.

Government applauds first time voters for their commitment to the country’s democracy. The enthusiastic manner in which they participated in their first election was a joy to behold.

“We congratulate the IEC for the smooth running of the 2019 General Elections, and further commend them for their swift response to problems that arose at various polling stations.

“Counting and verification of votes is underway and we appeal to the public to be patient and await the final results.

“We appreciate the dedication and hard work of thousands of IEC officials who are undertaking the arduous and time consuming counting and verification process. Let us allow them time and space to conclude their processes,” the GCIS said.

Government would also like to congratulate the South African Police Service, South African National Defence Force, Metro Police Officers, and other government departments for their hard work and dedication which ensured mostly incident free elections.

The security measures, most notably in identified hot spot areas, contributed greatly to elections which were peaceful and conducted in a spirit of democracy.

As part of the efforts to ensure successful elections, Home Affairs offices across the country opened their doors at 7am on Election Day and remained open until 9pm to assist the public with enabling documents to vote.

From 6 to 8 May, the Department of Home Affairs assisted 152 000 people to collect their Identity Documents or to apply for Temporary Identity Certificates.

In this election there were a record number of political parties, which is a reflection of the deepening of our multi-party democracy.

All political parties worked together to strengthen the country’s democracy and were instrumental in encouraging people to exercise their democratic right.

Government acknowledges the positive spirit in which the political parties conducted themselves during the elections.

“We appreciate the comprehensive coverage of our elections by the national and international media, and affirm the positive role of the media in strengthening and enhancing our democracy,” the GCIS said. 

Media continue to play a critical role in reflecting South Arica’s advances, challenges and developmental journey since 1994.  

“We also thank domestic and international observer missions for monitoring our electoral process.

As a young democracy we have come a long way in our 25 Years of Freedom, and have improved the lives of people. While there are challenges we are a resilient country that cherishes and guards our democracy.”

Government remains committed to dealing with the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“We will continue to build on the programme of government to better the lives of South Africans.

“In the spirit of keeping alive our democracy, South Africans are encouraged to work together with those they elected. Our role as active citizens does not end with voting; together we can move South Africa forward.” –