Vote Wisely Urges President Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday urged South Africans to vote wisely in the local government elections on 1 November

“In exactly one week from today, South Africans will go to the polls to elect their local representatives,” said Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter From The Desk Of The President.

“Let us vote responsibly. Let us vote wisely. Let us remember that it is only those who have the best interests of the South African people at heart who should get our vote.

“These elections are an opportunity for people to make their voices heard about the most pressing issues affecting their daily lives.

Ramaphosa said these elections are about the material issues that matter most to people, such as access to water and electricity, properly functioning hospitals and clinics, safety and security guaranteed by an efficient police service, well-maintained roads and well-resourced public schools.

“These are the ‘bread and butter issues’ of which Amilcar Cabral wrote in 1965 when he said that people do not fight for ideas, but to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, and to guarantee the future of their children,” said the president.

“For this reason, it is paramount that South Africans should approach their civic duty to vote in local government elections with the same enthusiasm with which they vote in national and provincial elections.”

Voters will be choosing from among more than 94,000 candidates from different political parties and independents. 

Many of the election posters on street poles and billboards are for parties and candidates that have not previously participated in local government elections. 

“This is a sign of the health of our democracy,” said Ramaphosa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has considerably worsened South Africa’s economic situation. 

“We are at an extremely difficult time in the life of our nation,” said the president.

“If we are to get the country back on track, we need people at the helm who are not only capable, experienced and qualified, but who are also honest and trustworthy.

“We need local councillors who have a clear plan to promote investment and business opportunities in their area. 

“They need to understand that municipal services need to be delivered reliably and affordably both to improve the lives of residents and to ensure that businesses can operate and thrive.”

Ramaphosa said councillors must prioritise the empowerment of young people and women. 

“If necessary, they must change local by-laws and regulations so that they can set up businesses easily, access municipal procurement opportunities and receive training and other support,” said Ramaphosa.

“We do not need candidates who make promises to communities at election time, but vanish soon thereafter.”