Ramaphosa Urges South Africa to Vote as ANC Faces Toughest Test

Ramaphosa Urges South Africa to Vote as ANC Faces Toughest Test
Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's president, leader of the ruling party African National Congress (ANC), during the Siyanqoba rally at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday, May. 25, 2024. This is South Africa's ruling African National Congress last push campaign ahead of the election on May 29. Photographer: Leon Sadiki/Bloomberg

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens to vote this week as his party prepares for its toughest election since the advent of democracy three decades ago. 

Turnout as a percentage of the voting-age population plummeted to 47.3% at the last national election in 2019, compared with 85.5% at the nation’s first democratic vote in 1994, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

The May 29 national election is set to be the most hotly contested since apartheid ended, with a series of opinion polls showing Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress risks losing its parliamentary majority for the first time.

Bloomberg Terminal clients can click on ELEC ZA for more on South Africa’s elections.

Voters have stayed away as Africa’s most-industrialized economy stagnated over the past decade, with power cuts and logistics snarl-ups curtailing output, while poverty, unemployment and crime are rife. A Bloomberg survey of fund managers this month found that crime, fiscal risk and the electricity supply are their biggest long-term concerns about South Africa.

Ramaphosa used an address on state television to list a series of programs his government has undertaken to create jobs, attract foreign investment and rebuild fraying infrastructure. On Friday, he enacted legislation that will establish the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate against Corruption as a permanent entity.

“I call upon all South Africans to out in their numbers to cast their votes in these elections,” he said on Sunday. “Let us build on the progress that we have made at this moment on our path to renewal.”

Ramaphosa expressed concern about reports of attempts to disrupt election activity in the KwaZulu-Natal province, a stronghold of his predecessor Jacob Zuma, who leads the opposition uMkhonto weSizwe party. The electoral commission said in a statement on Sunday that its officials had faced threats in the province.

“We once again call on all candidates, supporters and every South African to refrain from any action that could interfere with the due electoral process,” Ramaphosa said.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Andrew Molyneaux says:

    Which other Political Party has received equitable coverage from “state sponsored” media – My opinion? – Not one !!! – and they (the powers that be) want to talk about “free and fair” elections – Diatribe at it’s worst !!!

  • Janette Klein says:

    Ummm, what progress??? The majority of the people are worse off than before democratic elections.

  • Steve Brooks says:

    Now we will find out whether the IEC is just another branch of the ANC.
    The IEC should condemn CR’s blatant electioneering by use of a state broadcast and insist that other major parties are given the same opportunity.

  • Leslie van Minnen says:

    More than useless. He has the bloody check to use my SABC licence fee to get free ANC advertising. Thieves and crooks all of them. If the Illiterate masses vote the ANC back into power then expect more corruption and trough feeding. The COVID corruption will be a trickle compared to the NHI. Can we expect no more protest action if the ANC remain in power. It beggars believe that the very same people who vote ANC are those who do the protesting against the ANC and then still choose to keep them in power. A lost cause.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.