On Wednesday 3rd August, over 15 million South Africans turned out at the 22 230 voting stations dotted across the country to cast their vote for the 2016 municipal elections – the most hotly contested democratic battle since the birth of our democracy in 1994.
Prior to the elections, debates across the political spectrum were lively and robust, yet in the true spirit of opposition politics, freedom of speech, fairness, peace and tolerance, South Africa has once again demonstrated to the world a high functioning and vibrant democracy. Whilst violence, turmoil and disruptive politics are being witnessed in so many parts of the world, we’ve seen the principle of “one person one vote” and the universal rejection of violence and corruption being endorsed by the full spectrum of South African society and by all our political parties.
South Africa has retained its deserved reputation as a friendly, warm, safe and hospitable country, offering world-class quality food, accommodation and adventure to the discerning international traveller. It is therefore, not surprising that we are experiencing unprecedented numbers of visitors to our shores, all of whom in their own way make a contribution to the continued success of this wonderful country.
We express to all the political parties and their leadership our heartfelt thanks and congratulations for an election extraordinarily well run, free of violence and corruption, high on integrity and transparency. This process has been a beacon of hope for the entire world, demonstrating that democracy does work and that opposition politics should be tolerated and respected in the best interests of the people.
Thank you South Africans. You have spoken in the name of democracy, fairness and truth. We rejoice that our young democracy has stood firm for two decades and that together we can all look forward with anticipation to another two decades alive with possibilities in the hands of maturing political leadership.