SA needs you to stand up and vote

All systems are in place to ensure that South Africans will have an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote on Wednesday, 29 May 2024.

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said several measures have been put in place so that citizens can safely and securely cast their vote in the year that the country celebrates 30 years of freedom.

‘The right to vote was fought for during our country’s liberation struggle and came at an extremely high price as many of our countrymen and women sacrificed their lives for us to have this right,’ the statement read.

GCIS said voting is about the future and putting in place a government, which builds a better life for its people, a life materially better than in the years before democracy.

As a nation, government believes that every citizen should rightfully be proud of the democracy, which gives a voice to everyone.

The government agency also thanked all South Africans who cast their vote for their special votes.

Those who were approved
for special votes but did not have the opportunity to cast their ballot can still do so on the official Election Day.

The GCIS called on all South Africans, especially young and first-time voters, to exercise their democratic right to vote.

In the run-up to the elections, there has also been a massive civil education drive by the Department of Basic Education in partnership with the Electoral Commission (IEC).

This has resulted in almost all 539 000 young people aged 18 and 19 years old registered to vote.

In collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, all eligible youth in school have been provided with their identity documents (IDs) to ensure they can participate in this national milestone.

Meanwhile, the same department extended its operational hours and will be opened until open until 9pm tonight to allow eligible voters to collect their smart ID cards or green ID books.

‘We thank all South Africans who have already taken up the opportunity at various Home Affairs branches across the country
to collect their IDs.’

Temporary identification certificates can also be obtained for R70 and will be issued immediately for use.

Voters can call the Home Affairs toll-free number 0800 60 11 90 for more information.

Government said it was grateful to all its stakeholders, including the media and civil society organisations, who have played a crucial role in actively advocating for a free and fair campaigning process.

The GCIS thanked traditional and Khoi-San leaders for the role they have played in ensuring voters exercise their democratic rights.

‘Since 1994, these leaders have been instrumental in our society and we call on them to continue to encourage all eligible voters to participate in the elections tomorrow.’

GCIS said the seventh democratic election was a turning point in the history of the country’s democracy due to the expansion of electoral participation, which broadened the pool of leadership choices for national and provincial elections.

‘We believe that this is a testament to the vibrant
and inclusive democracy the country has built over the past three decades.’

In addition to polling stations being opened throughout the country, voting will also take place in prisons. A total of 14 753 inmates at correctional facilities have registered to vote in the elections, and they will get a chance to cast their ballot.

Government said it was ready to combat and prevent any threats to the election such as intimidation, public violence, clashes, or community protests, and we remain convinced that citizens will be free to make their mark for democracy.

Law enforcement agencies have made the necessary plans to safeguard the election process. This includes securing voting stations through static deployments, along with escorting voter material and IEC staff.

Government strongly condemned the illegal demonstrations that sought to undermine the democratic process.

GCIS described the actions as unacceptable and assured citizens that necessary measures are in place to prevent such occurrences.

with legitimate grievances are encouraged to constructively raise these within available channels.’

Meanwhile, the agency calls on communities to be vigilant and to avoid being manipulated by those bent on committing criminal acts under the guise of a legitimate protest.

South Africans were also encouraged to demonstrate tolerance by respecting each other’s right to vote and uphold the democratic principles that our country stands for.

The GCIS urged the public to conduct themselves peacefully and allow the IEC to do its work freely without any intimidation.

‘We call on all eligible voters to go out in their numbers and vote to strengthen our democracy and determine their future.’

GCIS described elections as a collective voice that has immense power to build the South Africa we all want.

‘As South Africa proudly celebrates 30 years of freedom and democracy, let us celebrate our democracy by exercising our right to vote and ensuring a better future for all.’

Acting GCIS Director-General, Nomonde Mnukwa
said: ‘Voting is one of the most visible means to be an active citizen and to make your voice heard, let us therefore come out in our numbers and renew our democracy’.

Source: South African Government News Agency