Our presidential election free, fair as people spoke – South African govt - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News


Friday, May 17

Our presidential election free, fair as people spoke – South African govt

The Government of South Africa has insisted that the outcome of the just-concluded National and Provincial elections in the country reflected the choice of the people.

The government said that the elections was a demonstration of active citizenship and patriotism by the people and a reaffirmation that the country’s democracy remains strong.

This was contained in a piece by Ms Phumla Williams, acting Director-General and the South Africa’s Cabinet spokesperson, where the country maintained that the successful conclusion of the elections has built on its legacy of free and fair elections since 1994.

Saga Gist reports that incumbent President, Cyril Ramaphosa was announced as winner of the election by the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission last weekend.

Williams’ article read, “Prior to and during the sixth national and provincial elections there were many articles on the state of our nation. Unsurprisingly many of these were deeply reflective and focused on the challenges facing South Africa.

“The South African government would be the first to admit that there are challenges, but without context there can be no true reflection of the true state of our nation.

“This year South Africa marks 25 Years of Freedom since our democratic breakthrough in 1994. To some 25 years may seem like a long time, however when viewed against our starting point we remain a young democracy.

“Many of our present day social problems are rooted in our divided and debilitating past. We come from a past where both colonialism and apartheid systematically sought to undermine the advancement of Black South Africans.

“The fractures within our nation run deep and it will take time to address the many structural challenges we inherited. Amongst these are the distorted spatial patterns which were implemented under apartheid. Even today most South Africans live far from their places of work, and many are faced with a reality of spending most of what they earn on travel expenses.

“It is also a reality that the majority of South Africans do not have access to land, or are living in situations of insecure tenure. Addressing these challenges has consumed various administrations since our democratic breakthrough in 1994.

“However, there is no one silver bullet to our challenges, therefore the South African government continues to address these deficits in a systematic and sustainable manner.

“Through our land reform programme we are working to address skewed patterns of land ownership in a responsible and sustainable manner while ensuring that food production is not negatively affected. We have also stated that property rights are not at risk.

“Similarly the South African government is working to undo apartheid spatial planning through the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements.

“Our democratic breakthrough in 1994 marked the beginning of undoing these structural problems, and through regular elections we have ensured that successive administrations are empowered to continue building a better tomorrow.

“On 08 May millions of South Africans once again went to the polls not only to vote for the party of their choice, but also to renew our democracy. This demonstration of active citizenship and patriotism reaffirms that our democracy remains strong, while the successful conclusion of the elections has built on our legacy of free and fair elections since 1994.

“Now that the people have once again spoken, work continues to build a better tomorrow. Amongst these are interventions to prepare young South Africans with the necessary education and skills demanded in the workplace.

“Our Youth Employment Service, in partnership with the private sector responds to the needs of young people and aims to offer paid work experience to young South Africans.

“Last year we convened a Jobs Summit to develop new pathways into work for millions of South Africans and agreed onfar-reaching initiatives to grow the economy and create many more jobs.

“We also hosted our first International Investment Conference as part of an investment drive to attract around 1.2 trillion Rand in new investments over the next five years. The investment conference received pledges of 300 billion Rand.

“Work to transform South Africa also focusses on social interventions to change the landscape of communities in the country. This comprises healthcare for all, including vaccinations against the most prevalent childhood illnesses.

“South Africa’s Early Childhood Development programme gives youngsters a solid base for schooling and skills development. Once in school learners are given nutritious meals to help them concentrate better and excel through our National School Nutrition Programme. It is also a fact that many South African learners in school today attend no fee schools, which has ensured that quality education is no longer an elitist preserve.

“Last year our government went a step further by offering free higher education for students from poor and working-class families. The historic move allows children from the bottom 90 per cent of households in our country to access to higher education opportunities.

“Work also continues to tackle both crime and corruption, and we remain committed to making the country safe for citizens and visitors alike. The fight against corruption is one of the major priorities for the country, and the South African government has established capable and dedicated institutions to fight corruption and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.

“Our successful elections on 08 May and the subsequent renewal of our democratic order will ensure that we continue building a better tomorrow. The renewed hope which is reverberating across our young nation is a clear indication that our democracy remains strong.”