South Africans will head to the polls on 29 May 2024, marking 30 years of democracy.

Following much anticipation, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally announced the date of the 2024 general elections.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Presidency announced that on Wednesday, 29 May, South Africans will go to the polls to cast their votes for the 2024 general national and provincial elections.

“The President has also, in line with Section 17(2) of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, consulted with the Electoral Commission (IEC) on the election date. Furthermore, the President convened a meeting with all nine provincial premiers and the IEC to discuss the state of readiness for the general elections,” said presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

30 years of democracy

The presidency added that the 2024 election will coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy.

Ramaphosa has therefore urged everyone who is eligible to vote to take part in full in this “important and historic” occasion in South Africa’s democratic calendar.

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“Beyond the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination of the future that we all desire,” the president said.

“I call on all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote and for those who will be campaigning to do so peacefully, within the full observance of the law. We also urge unregistered voters to use the online registration platform to register.”

The presidency added that the proclamation to declare the date will be issued in due course.

Mashatile slip of the tongue or deliberate

Over the weekend, Deputy President Paul Mashatile told a crowd: “We must go out there, united with one common purpose, to ensure that come the 24th of May, or somewhere around there, when we go to the elections…”

Whether this was a slip of the tongue on Mashatile’s part or deliberate was debated as political parties voiced their concerns over Ramaphosa’s silence on the date.

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