Panafrican News Agency

South Africa gears for national elections

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – The Independent Electoral Commission said South Africa is ready for Wednesday’s national election which is widely expected to be the most critical since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

Nearly 27 million voters have registered to cast their votes.

The Institute of Race Relations has estimated a 70% turnout nationally, down on the 74.6% turnout of 2014. Its pre-election polls indicate that the ruling African National Congress will secure 50% of the poll while the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) will retain power in the strategically important Western Cape province.

Speaking at an election eve rally in Cape Town, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the country faces a choice between the “corrupt and chaotic” ANC and the “honest and capable” DA.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has predicted that the ANC will secure a comfortable victory in the national elections.

"We are going into an election and I don't know what the outcome is going to be. But you know what? I am going into the elections very confidently, very robustly and with a very positive mind, knowing that I am going to emerge victorious,” he said.

The United Kingdom has updated its local travel advisory for those visiting South Africa during the elections, saying “protest marches and demonstrations can occur anywhere in South Africa and sometimes at short notice”.

However, Police Minister Bheki Cele said that police would be out in full force to ensure peace prevailed at the country’s 22,924 voting stations and more than 51,000 officers would be deployed nationwide.

-0- PANA CU/AR 7May2019