24 March 2014
The Cabinet has called on South Africans to celebrate 20 years of freedom by participating peacefully in electioneering and voting in the country’s general elections on 7 May.
“[The] Cabinet calls on all South Africans to be active participants in electioneering, but to do so peacefully and with tolerance for the right of all voters to express their opinions publicly and make their choice privately in the voting booth,” acting Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Angie Motshekga told reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Pretoria last week.
The law enforcement agencies would be active to ensure a conducive environment, so that “all areas of the country participate in the democratic process, which is a product of our struggle for freedom,” she said.
Twenty-nine of the 33 political parties set to contest the national election pledged to abide by the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) electoral code of conduct at a signing ceremony in Midrand, Johannesburg last week.
Each party promised to campaign peacefully, without resorting to intimidation tactics to win voters over.
Four parties who were unable to send a representative to the signing ceremony remain bound by the code of conduct in terms of the law and will be invited to sign the pledge.
Twenty years into democracy, multi-party politics is flourishing in South Africa. There were 19 parties on the national ballot paper in South Africa’s historic first democratic election in 1994 and 21 parties in 2004. This year there will be 33, provided that all parties meet their final obligations to the IEC.
There are currently 25.39-million voters on South Africa’s voters’ roll. This is 2.2-million more voters (a 9.5% increase) than were on the voters’ roll for the 2009 elections, and 7.2-million more (a 39.72% increase) than when the voters’ roll was first established for the 1999 elections.