Voters prove democracy is ‘strong, robust’

Henry

Although the last election was a massive setback for the ANC, Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa that voters have given proof of a “strong and robust democracy”.

More than 16 million citizens cast their votes in the 2024 election at more than 23,000 polling stations across the country, with the ANC’s support falling by around 16%.

Ramaphosa described the election in his newsletter on Monday as the “most competitive election” the country has had since 1994.

A record number of political parties appeared on this year’s ballot, while many independent candidates stood for the first time.

“This election has been declared free and fair. It took place peacefully and without serious incidents of intimidation or violence. It is a credit to the Independent Electoral Commission, to the political parties and their leadership, and above all to the people of South Africa,” said Ramaphosa.

“By fulfilling this important civic duty, South Africans have done more than just exercise their right to vote. They have shown that they still value our democratic order and our Constitution. It shows that our democracy is strong, robust and steadfast.”

Ramaphosa further says that this constitutional order “is anchored in the rule of law” and is supported by democratic institutions such as the IEC and an independent judiciary.

“Since 1994, we have strived together to build a country that is democratic, prosperous and free, and this remains the defining mission of our nation.

“Now that we have entered a new phase in our democratic journey, political parties will have to seriously try to find common ground as we continue to work to rebuild the country.”

Ramaphosa believes that although each political party has a mandate regarding its obligations towards its voters, “all parties share an overarching mandate to build a country that is inclusive, united and prosperous”.

This requires responsible leadership and constructive involvement, according to Ramaphosa.

“There is no place for threats of violence or instability.

“South Africans must stand firm against any attempts to undermine the constitutional order that we have worked so hard to build, and for which so many have sacrificed.”

The president says any challenges that may arise must be dealt with in a spirit of cooperation and in accordance with the directives of the Constitution and the rule of law.

“While we work as political parties to find each other in the coming weeks and months, we must show in our actions and our statements that we regard the Constitution and the rule of law as the most important.

“May we never forget that the authority entrusted to us must be exercised to promote the interests of the people of South Africa.

“Now more than ever we must put aside our differences and work together for the common good.”