Ramaphosa gives last-minute pitch to voters ahead of crucial election

 ·26 May 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation one last time before the 2024 elections, a part of the current administration, praising his government’s successes over the past five years.

Speaking to South Africans during a last-minute address on Sunday (26 May), Ramaphosa urged voters to reflect on the progress made by the sixth administration.

He listed several achievements made by the government over the past five years, including the highest matric pass rate ever last year, increasing the National Minimum Wage (including farm and domestic workers) and introducing several “master plans” to stimulate and grow the economy.

He also mentioned the increasing in the number of police on the street over the last two years by 20,000 people and the establishment of specialised task teams to tackle illegal mining, cable theft, cash-in-transit heists, gangsterism, and other economic crimes.

While listing the achievements, he was careful not to acknowledge the challenges faced by South Africans over the same period.

Some of these issues include the worst year of load shedding in the country’s history in 2023, major port and rail bottlenecks that cost businesses and the economy billions of rands, and the ailing infrastructure that has caused other crises, such as water supply issues in parts of Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal that have left households without water for weeks at a time.

Additionally, although progress was made in increasing the number of policemen on the ground and creating specialised “task teams,” the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) latest crime stats show that violent crimes and contact crimes (crimes against a person) continue to increase year on year.

Nevertheless, Ramaphosa said there is more work to be done. “Let us draw strength and encouragement from the difficulties we have overcome together,” he said.

“I call upon all South Africans to go cast their votes. We are a diverse people but a united nation.

“Let us be united in our commitment to our democracy,” he added.

Looking at some of the latest election indicators, investors polled by Krutham expect the ANC to win about 45.5% of the vote, while earlier surveys by other companies predicted a share of as little as 37%.

The Democratic Alliance, the biggest opposition party, was expected to garner between 20.9% and 22.3% support, the EFF between 9.7% and 10.7% and MKP 6.4%.

The IFP and DA leaders, which are members of an 11-party opposition bloc, have indicated that they will consider working with the ANC, although that isn’t their preferred option.

When considering voters themselves, a survey conducted by Afrobarometer showed that 86% said they were registered to vote, and 88% said they were likely to cast ballots.

A quarter said they were yet to decide who to vote for, while 6% declined to answer the question.

The survey company also showed that the ANC would win 39% of the vote if those who didn’t disclose a preference were excluded, and the main opposition, the DA, 19%.

The populist EFF would get 10%, as would the MKP. The poll, which had a 2.3% margin of error, didn’t spell out what share of the cast votes parties were expected to win.  

These findings align with those from a survey released this past week commissioned by broadcaster eNCA and undertaken by MarkData. The survey gave the ANC 43.4% of the vote. 

Read: Unrest and violence warning as South African police prepare for action

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