Cyril Ramaphosa votes in the 2019 elections (Sesona Ngqakamba, News24)
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC is ready to fix all its wrongs and that the elections on Wednesday are the beginning of that change.
Ramaphosa was speaking at Hitekani Primary School in Chaiwelo, Soweto, where he cast his vote. The street was packed with party agents and members of his party as he arrived to make his mark. The president said he was "excitingly confident" about the voter turnout.
"We now know why we didn't fill it to the full mark because we started deviating from the mandate that our people gave us. Corruption got in the way and patronage got in the way. We now know what our weaknesses are.
"This is a vote that reminds us of 1994. In 1994 our people were just as excited as this because they were heralding a new period, a new future for our country and today this is what I am picking up," Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa added that the elections were largely about local issues and less about national issues. He added that jobs were more of a national issue.
"We are committed that we are going to embark on a process of growing our economy, of attracting investments and the outcome of this election will be a major boost also to investors," the president said.
He added that Wednesday's vote was also about confidence and about the future, admitting that the party had failed in some cases.
"Over the 25 years, we have achieved a great deal. We have not yet filled the glass. The glass is half full," he said.
The family of South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has been held hostage for almost two years in war-torn Syria, protested outside the school where Ramaphosa voted.
WATCH: Video of photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed proof of life released, more than 2 years after his abduction
Mohamed's mother, Shireen, said they were pleading with Ramaphosa to assist with the release of their son.
"Please help my son. It's a matter of life and death. He is the son of the soil. Please help my son," she pleaded.
Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.