Election to be closest since end of apartheid – Helen Zille

2014-02-07 16:06

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May 7 will see South Africa’s most closely fought election since the fall of apartheid, DA leader Helen Zille said after President Jacob Zuma announced the poll date.

“We stand ready to fight the closest election in the history of democratic South Africa,” Zille said today, adding that employment would be the central issue of the campaign.

“This will be the jobs election. On 7th May, voters will have the opportunity to decide which party has the policies and the political will to cut corruption and create jobs.”

She said the DA’s election manifesto, which would be launched in Polokwane in a fortnight, would set out the party’s vision of creating 6 million jobs by growing the economy at 8% over the next decade.

“We will make this election a battle of ideas, even as our opponents cling to the outdated politics of racial mobilisation.

“We can make history in this election. We can put the politics of the past behind us and move boldly towards the South Africa we dreamed of in 1994,” Zille said.

Earlier, the ANC welcomed Zuma’s announcement of the election date.

“As the ANC, we are particularly proud that the democracy we fought so hard for, side by side with our people, continues to be strengthened and exercised through the holding of regular elections,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

Mthembu called on people who had not yet registered to vote in the general elections to register this weekend.

“The ANC implores particularly young people to come out in their numbers to define the type of future they want to see,” he said.

Read: How To … Register to vote

The Independent Electoral Commission said it had been preparing for the election for two years.

“Plans are well advanced to ensure a credible, free and fair election in this historic 20th year of democracy,” spokesperson Kate Bapela said.

“The commission continues to urge all South Africans and especially the new generation of young voters [to] make use of this weekend to register and check their registration details so that they can participate in this election.”

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