Ramaphosa to announce election date in next 15 days — spokesperson

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya. File photo.
Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce this year’s election date within 15 days from Thursday.

This is according to presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, who told journalists a proclamation will follow soon after.

“That should put everyone’s mind at ease that the election date will be announced within 15 days as of tomorrow,” said Magwenya on Wednesday.

“The president will proclaim soon after announcing, so there shouldn’t be a lag between the time he announces and the time he proclaims, all depending on his schedule on that particular day on which he will announce.”

There were expectations that Ramaphosa would make the announcement during his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday evening as he had used the event to announce the 2019 general elections five years ago.

Magwenya dismissed suggestions Ramaphosa was delaying the announcement of the election date.

“There is no delay because there was never an expectation of a particular time [when] that he will make the announcement. There is no crisis insofar as the election date; there is anticipation, there is excitement — rightly so, we are a democracy.”

Meanwhile, Magwenya has hinted that this year’s Sona address will be different.

“This state of the nation address is different and unique in so many ways and I think it’s important that it is allowed its own expression, and that South Africans can take out of it the celebratory element and remember we are marking 30 years of our democratic dispensation,” he said.

“It is also the last Sona under the sixth administration, and so what you have is a reflection over the past 30 years and with an account of the work of the sixth administration in the last five years.

“It’s important that you allow those key elements to be expressed as much as possible without any other issues.”

Ramaphosa, who is recovering from a bout of flu, is expected to deliver his speech at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday.

Magwenya said the president’s team was with him until about 10pm on Tuesday going through his draft speech and by then his health had improved significantly.

On Friday, the president will be up at dawn to warm up for the annual presidential golf challenge at the Atlantic Beach Golf club in Melkbosstrand, an event co-ordinated by the minister of public service and administration.

The presidential golf challenge will raise funds for the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation. The foundation’s partner entity, the Adopt-A-School foundation, will use the funds to construct ablution facilities at schools in support of the department of basic education’s Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative.

“This is an important investment in the dignity of learners and staff at our schools and a contribution to social infrastructure in the country,” said Magwenya.

Ramaphosa’s playing partner will be Botshepehi Phakoe, 14, of Mangaung, who is one of the best young players in the Free State Junior Union.

On Sunday Ramaphosa will attend the Football for Humanity match between the Palestinian national team and a South African side.

“[The event] will allow Palestinian players to exercise their favourite sport in conditions of peace and sound infrastructure. The game will demonstrate our historic solidarity with the people of Palestine in their struggle against illegal occupation and violent excesses by the State of Israel,” said Magwenya.

This engagement does, however, depend on Bafana Bafana’s bid to advance to the Afcon final, which Ramaphosa is keen to attend, he added.


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