ANC will win South Africa elections, predicts Ramaphosa

South African President and leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday his party will emerge victorious in Wednesday’s national and provincial elections that experts believe will be the tightest since the first post-apartheid democratic elections of 1994.

Addressing the party’s final election campaign rally in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said his party has seen massive outpouring of support on the campaign trail.

“The ANC is loved in South Africa. It is for this reason that the ANC is going to emerge victorious,” Ramaphosa told thousands of supporters gathered at the FNB stadium.

Ramaphosa appealed to supporters to go out in numbers and give the party, once led by the late global icon Nelson Mandela, a resounding victory on May 29.

Opinion polls and political analysts have been predicting that the ANC might not cross the 51% mark required for a party to win and govern without a coalition.

The ANC, which currently has 230 seats in parliament, has secured more than 60% in all elections since 1994, barring 2019, when its share dipped to 57.5%.

There are over 27 million registered voters in the country of some 62 million people. They will be voting for lawmakers of provincial legislatures and 400 members of parliament, known as the National Assembly.

The country subscribes to the proportional representation system where voters choose parties and they get seats in the parliament. The lawmakers then elect a president.

Seventy political parties are in the running, with the major ones being the ANC, opposition Democratic Alliance, and Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF).

Promises for job creation

Ramaphosa said in the next five years his government will create more jobs, advance democracy and build a better Africa and the world.

He said his government will be training millions with skills and build more industries that will absorb the unemployed.

The president said his government will focus on renewable energy, manufacturing of electric cars for export, and will start processing raw minerals locally to create jobs instead of exporting unprocessed precious metals.

South Africa’s unemployment rate currently stands at just under 33%, the highest in the world and it has been a major election campaign issue with each party vowing to reduce unemployment.

Ramaphosa said the government will continue to provide financial support in the form of social grants to unemployed citizens.

He also promised to address the energy crisis that has affected the country’s economy forcing measures such as rationing of electricity and rolling power cuts.

Cease-fire in Gaza

Ramaphosa said his country feels the horrors that Israel has meted on Palestinians since last October, and there must be an immediate cease-fire.

“We want a cease-fire now. They should let in humanitarian aid right now,’’ he said to the applause of thousands who joined him in chanting: “Free, Free Palestine.”

Ramaphosa said his country’s freedom is incomplete without that of Palestine and pledged to continue supporting the plight of Palestinians.

Power crisis

EFF leader Julius Malema also addressed a rally in the Limpopo province, promising to build new power stations when his party is elected to office to avoid the ongoing energy crisis.

“There will be no retrenchment of workers under EFF. Any company that does that will be an enemy of EFF,’’ he said.

Malema said under his government there will be no illegal immigrants in the country. “Everyone who is in South Africa must be documented. Every African who has a contribution to make – this is home and every African will be accounted for,’’ he said.

Several parties have also been raising the issue of undocumented migrants entering the country from neighboring African states and Asian countries, whom they accuse of taking businesses and jobs from citizens.

Malema said his party supports the Palestinian cause and will end diplomatic relations after coming to power.

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