Political parties gearing up for the 2024 national and provincial elections (NPE 2024) are now calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to expedite the announcement of the election date. While these parties commend the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for their efforts to ensure a free and fair election, they emphasize the urgency of knowing when South Africa will head to the polls.
Setting the Stage
The constitutional authority to set the election date lies with the President of the Republic, following consultation with the IEC. During the launch of the ‘Your Democracy, Own It’ themed election, IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo revealed that these consultations are underway but not yet concluded.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Plea
Secretary-General of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Marshall Dlamini, has been particularly vocal in urging President Ramaphosa to announce the 2024 general election date promptly. Dlamini emphasized the nation’s need for a new direction and fresh leadership. In his statement, he pointed out that the ANC is already privy to the election date, putting other parties at a disadvantage. Dlamini urged the President to reveal the date swiftly, emphasizing the party’s readiness for the polls.
An All-Encompassing Approach
Addressing questions regarding the EFF’s election strategy, Dlamini made it clear that their focus extended to all nine provinces. The party does not plan to target specific areas or voters. Their manifesto, he explained, is a collective effort aimed at serving all South Africans.
Inkatha Freedom Party’s Support
Velenkosini Hlabisa, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), expressed support for the IEC’s theme and stressed the importance of citizen participation. Hlabisa emphasized that 2024 presents an opportunity for South Africa to bring about change. He called on the roughly 14 million unregistered citizens to become active participants in the democratic process.
Democratic Alliance’s Call to Action
John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance, believes that the ANC is facing significant challenges and encouraged voters to make their voices heard. He emphasized the pivotal role of voters in effecting change and underlined the importance of the Multi-Party Charter as a means to secure victory.
Unity Among Opposition Parties
Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, echoed Hlabisa’s sentiments and encouraged citizens to register and cast their ballots. Groenewald highlighted the strength in unity among opposition parties, asserting that no single party alone could oust the ANC government. He clarified that the formal coalition would be forged post-election.
Michael Beaumont of ActionSA discussed the party’s plans, expressing their intention to contest in all nine provinces and on the national ballot. He cited the party’s success in winning over ANC voters during the 2021 municipal elections.
ANC’s Confidence Amid Challenges
Mdumiseni Ntuli, the ANC’s election campaign manager, acknowledged the journey’s challenges and setbacks but expressed confidence in the ANC’s ability to retain electoral support. Ntuli emphasized the ANC’s three-decade-long experience in governance, asserting that no other entity in South Africa possessed the necessary skills to govern.
As the call for President Ramaphosa to announce the 2024 general election date grows louder, political parties across the spectrum are gearing up for a pivotal moment in South African democracy. The urgency to know the date reflects the nation’s collective desire for change, making the upcoming elections a critical juncture in the nation’s political landscape. South Africans can anticipate a dynamic and closely watched campaign season ahead.