President RAMAPHOSA calls on traditional leaders to promote free political activity during election campaigns

Thursday, February 22, 2024
 – President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on traditional leaders to allow for free political activity in their areas during the campaigns by political parties.

The county will go to the polls on May 29 after the president announced the date this week.

Ramaphosa said politicians will be campaigning in various parts of the country, and traditional leaders should allow them to campaign when they come into their villages.

This will be one of the most hotly contested elections since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said more than 68,000 staff will be manning thousands of voting stations.

Ramaphosa was addressing the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders on Thursday in Parliament where he raised the issue of the elections.

“On May 29, South Africans will be going to the polls to vote in our 7th democratic elections for national and provincial government. As we prepare for this historic occasion, which many in our country have been calling for, the day has now come where South Africans will participate in the choice of their government.

“As we prepare for this occasion, I urge traditional leaders to continue to urge all eligible voters to register and participate in these elections. As we have done before, we call on traditional leaders to actively promote free and fair campaigning. Politicians will come to your areas, and as they come to your areas, we urge that you should promote free and fair campaigning and to ensure that all voters can exercise their democratic right freely,” said Ramaphosa.

The president also said he met with US Congress members on Wednesday at Tuynhuys where they discussed a range of issues.

He said the delegation from the US Senate and House of Representatives supported trade relations between the US and South Africa.

Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by the views of the members of the Congress. This was an indication that South Africa was on the right path.

“I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday talking to American legislators from the Senate and from the House of Representatives who are visiting our country. They come to South Africa to come and look at progress we have made. They all said ‘we continue to be in awe at what you have achieved as South Africa over the years of your democracy’.

“But they also add ‘we continue to be in great awe of your great leader Nelson Mandela’. Then they add ‘we would like to engender, not a relationship between South Africa and the US. We want to engender a friendship. We want to trade with you, we want to invest in your country and we want to see the two countries mutually benefiting from initiatives such as Agoa and many other initiatives’. That gave me a great deal of courage that, indeed, we are on the right path,” said Ramaphosa.

He said South Africa wanted to trade with the US as well.

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