The new African National Congress (ANC) government will use its election mandate to implement policies and programmes in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) in order to further improve the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor, President-elect Jacob Zuma pledged on the weekend.
Speaking in Pretoria following the announcement of the final results of the country’s 2014 general election on Saturday evening, Zuma dedicated the ANC’s victory to the memory of the late Nelson Mandela, adding that the ANC was humbled that South Africans had again chosen the party to govern the country.
“The ANC will be humble in its victory,” he said. “We will form a government that will serve all the people of our country, regardless of who they voted for. We must now unite and work together to move South Africa forward.”
The ANC secured 62.1% of the national vote, while remaining in control in eight of the country’s nine provinces. The Democratic Alliance (DA) increased its support nationally to 22.2% while retaining control of the Western Cape, and newcomers the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) won 6.3% of the vote.
Zuma said the new administration would also give the green light to implementing the National Development Plan and promoting inclusive economic growth and job creation.
This would see the government continuing with the delivery of water, electricity, roads, schools, clinics, good schools, human settlements to people in both urban and rural areas.
“The new mandate is also a licence to continue with our ambitious infrastructure build programme, and ensure the provision of better roads, universities and colleges, hospitals, dams, railway lines and power stations that boost economic and social development.”
Zuma thanked the 18-million South Africans who went out to cast their votes last Wednesday, especially the country’s senior citizens, saying they had set a good example for first-time voters.
He also acknowledged the co-operation of communities – such as Marikana in North West province, Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape and Bekkersdal in Gauteng – that had been identified as hotspots ahead of the election.
“They proved commentators who predicted apathy wrong,” Zuma said, adding that the issues they had raised would be addressed by the new government.