South African President, Jacob Zuma has announced in a statement that South Africa will hold its general elections April 22. The date was arrived at in consultation with the South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The electoral term of the present government will come to an end on the 22nd of April.We are very proud of the manner in which we adhere to constitutional and democratic processes in our country.We hold national general elections without fail every five years, which demonstrates the maturing of our democracy.The time has come for us to work together again, to prepare for the fifth national general elections.I have met with the Independent Electoral Commission to discuss preparations, and also with the Premiers. We deliberated on this very important right of our people to elect a government of their choice, for which thousands of South Africans laid down their lives.I am satisfied that the IEC preparations are at an advanced stage.After consulting with the IEC, I would like to inform the South African people locally and abroad, that the fifth national general elections in the Republic of South Africa will be held on the 7th of May 2014, throughout the country.These are historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage.They provide an opportunity for us to further consolidate the democracy and freedom that we worked so hard to achieve, and for which esteemed South Africans such as former President Nelson Mandela sacrificed life’s comforts for.Our country is a much better place to live in now than before 1994, because of the participation and contribution of South Africans.We must continue participating in building our country.I therefore remind all our people to go out in their thousands to register to vote this weekend, on the 8 and 9th of February. This is the last registration period for this election, and nobody must miss this opportunity.We congratulate all first time voters, the 18 year olds. They are coming of age this year. They will be deciding the future of their beautiful country.We also invite our youth to register to vote in the cities and towns where they are studying and wherever they will be in May this year.We rely on the youth to take the benefits of this freedom forward, and to build this country further. South Africa is their inheritance.Most importantly, I urge all our people to promote peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence as we move towards the elections and during the elections.We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred.Let us make this a vibrant, robust, exciting, peaceful and most successful election, and maintain our track record of successful elections.I thank you.