President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans and political parties to accept the results of the general elections which saw the ANC retain power with 57% of electoral support.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the announcement of the election results at the Electoral Commission of SA’s national results operation centre in Pretoria.

He expressed gratitude to leaders of political parties that contested the elections for their conduct which he said contributed to the peaceful political climate in the build up to the election.

“Yes there was a lot of contestation. There was a lot of exchange of wonderful words to each other, difficult words, and harsh words to each other, but we were all in a contest. Our people have now spoken and all of us are called upon to accept the word and the will of our people irrevocably,” Ramaphosa said.

Fourteen parties have secured seats in the National Assembly, with Aljama party - with one seat - and the African Transformation Movement - with two seats - being among the new entrants.

The EFF increased its seats from 25 to 44, the Freedom Front Plus from four to 10 seats, while the Inkatha Freedom Party increased from 10 to 14 seats.

The ANC decreased its seats from 249 to 230, while the DA’s seat allocation declined from 89 to 84 seats.

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said this year’s general elections had been the most difficult for the commission to deliver.

“These elections are without prevarication the most complex, highly contested and logistically demanding in our history as a country and as an institution. They have tested all of us like never before,” Mamabolo said.

IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini called on all the candidates of political parties who would be taking oath in the legislature to serve South Africans with pride, dignity, integrity and accountability.

“That is what the Constitution call for and what our people deserve,” he said.