Bouquets all round after a peaceful general election
South Africa voted last week, most citizens cast their votes, voting for hope, for a better South Africa for all, as promised by the governing party.
I’m inspired that all went well on voting day - no violence, indeed a peaceful election. May 8 was a very important event on the South African calendar.
The world watched, investors, local and abroad, and the rating agencies. But more important, proud South Africans, young and old, voted, for hope. Herewith some views from BR contributors:
“I am reminded now, after our elections and being abroad on business, that if there was a moment in time that we as a nation needed to support our country and its leadership, this would be the time.
“Again, the ANC won the election, but clearly its share has declined and if South Africa was a company, being SA PTY LTD, it would seem that its 55 million shareholders were not satisfied with the operating group, the ANC, and no doubt needed more from its new chairperson/president, and the incumbent board of directors/ministers. No doubt we are at another Rubicon, yet I am so confident that President Ramaphosa will make the desperate change we as a proud nation deserve. “Unity in Diversity is now the call,” said Neil de Beer (Neil on Africa contributor).
From a business and investor confidence point of view, “the overall results from the sixth Parliament elections of the Republic of South Africa were more or less as expected, with the ruling ANC winning the national count with 57percent.
“The rand exchange rate reflected the thumbs up off foreign investors after the elections. On Friday afternoon the currency had strengthened to R14.13/$. This is an improvement of 23cents or 1.4percent from the R14.36/$ the previous Friday. South African stocks jumped the most in more than four months on Friday.
“This strong confidence in investment prospects follows, despite the negative outlook for emerging markets in the light of the serious new wave of trade tariffs by the US on Chinese exports.
“The stronger rand imposes a welcome approval of the political situation in the country, with hope that Ramaphosa will use the mandate he received from voters to address corruption, implement his investment and six-point economic plan and address the issues at the State Owned Enterprises. “The stronger rand also will help for a possible relief for fuel and other import prices in months to come,” said Dr Chris Harmse, chief economist of Rebalance Fund Managers. ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told BR yesterday: “I am humbled that the majority of South Africans trust the ANC to create a better South Africa for all.
“We shall strive to deliver on our promises. The fresh mandate is a vote of confidence in the ANC, and this provides for continuity and renewal as it allows, on the one hand, the ANC to accelerate implementation of programmes aimed at surmounting the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“On the other hand, the ANC-led government will continue with its renewal and rebuilding programme that will reorganise the state or government to become more effective and efficient while repositioning State Owned Enterprises to better execute their mandate.
“With this clear mandate, our government is also in a better position to intensify efforts to grow our country’s economy through, among others, the attraction of domestic and foreign direct investment - an exercise that aims at raising $100billion (R1.41trillion). We will also nurture a conducive environment for business to thrive through stepping up efforts to tackle crime, corruption and other malfeasances that are prevalent in and across both the public and private sectors,” said Mashatile.
“Democracy depends wholly on free and fair elections and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) will honour its duty as a political party to observe, evaluate, and constructively critique the IEC management, in loyal support of the IEC’s best efforts to continuously improve the vehicle of South Africa’s hard-won democracy.
“The ATM is ready to accept the declaration of the result and in anticipation of this formality we congratulate the ANC on its victory. We also wish to thank the IEC for delivering a credible election outcome under very trying circumstances,” said ATM national spokesperson Mandisa Mashiya in a statement.
“My take on the election is that it went as well as one could expect. What is now required from all politicians and the entire electorate is that there was sufficient words, promises and debate. South Africa need to get to work. We must do things not talk about it. We must make our country work. We must do what we do better, more efficient, less corrupt, more tolerant. We must all become better citizens, not ask for services to be delivered. We must each decide what we as individuals or as a collective can contribute. what can we do, not talk, not debate, just do it and do it well. Politicians will not solve job creation. We need jobs and the whole country will become a better place for all. We should stop naming and shaming wrong doers, we must identify and praise job creators that has achieved job creation. We have gala events for musicians etc but we should much rather gather job creators and bestow our gratitude to them.” Corrie Kruger BR Independent Reporter
BR contacted other political parties for comments, but didn’t receive any comments by the time of going to print.