Johannesburg - The fifth national general elections will be held on May 7, President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday.
"These are historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage," Zuma said in a statement.
"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."
Zuma said he met the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and premiers on Thursday.
He was satisfied that the IEC preparations were at an advanced stage.
The elections would provide an opportunity to further consolidate democracy and freedom, said Zuma.
"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," said Zuma.
"I therefore remind all our people to go out in their thousands to register to vote this weekend, on the 8th and 9th of February. This is the last registration period for this election and nobody must miss this opportunity."
Zuma urged the youth to vote and said they should take the benefits of freedom forward.
The electoral term of the present government would come to an end on April 22.
Zuma said he was proud of the manner in which government adhered to the constitutional and democratic processes in the country.
"We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred," he said.
"Let us make this a vibrant, robust, exciting, peaceful and most successful election, and maintain our track record of successful elections." - Sapa
* This article was updated at 1:02pm.