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Government has commended the inspiring smooth start to the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

This as thousands of South Africans have already cast their votes in the elections, affirming the strength and vibrancy of our democracy. 

Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General (DG), Nomonde Mnukwa noted a conspicuous and palpable sense of jubilation at voting stations across the country as citizens exercise their constitutional right in the seminal seventh national election. 

“The dignity and patience with which voters are conducting themselves is a sign of our maturing democracy and we are confident that these elections will build on our history of free and fair elections” Mnukwa said.

READ | Smooth and steady start to 2024 elections

As the country celebrates 30 Years of Freedom, Mnukwa reiterated government’s call on all 27.7 million registered voters to heed the clarion call to vote so that democracy can be strengthened.

“This right to vote was never given for free and should never be taken for granted. Many women and men died and suffered for this right and the best way we can honour them is to show up and vote,” Mnukwa said.
She said the impressive early indication of a significant youth cohort turnout and their enthusiasm demonstrated on social media platforms, is a clear demonstration of a nation invested in a future which is underpinned by a collective sense of the civic responsibility and active participation that comes with democracy.  
“Your vote is your power and allows you to choose who will represent the interests of your community. We should never forget that elections are our collective voice, and your vote has immense power to inspire a path that will lead to the growth of our country. This Election Day let your voice be heard and let your ‘X’ speak for you,” the Acting DG said.  

Mnukwa reminded registered voters that voting stations and Home Affairs offices will remain open until 9pm and encouraged voters who have applied for IDs, or want to apply for Temporary Identification Certificates, to visit their local Home Affairs office to collect their documents, in order to cast their vote. 

Mnukwa also urged South Africans to keep making their way to voting stations throughout the day to avoid bottlenecks near closing time.
“Elderly, pregnant, and sick voters are encouraged to approach electoral officers at their voting stations so that they can be ushered to the front of the queue. To avoid medical emergencies, voters joining queues are advised to take precautions such as drinking water to remain hydrated and should take their prescription medicines.
“Voters are advised to take extra precautionary measures to protect themselves as the country is currently experiencing the annual influenza (flu) season. Preventative measures such as wearing of masks, hand washing with an alcohol-based sanitiser or practising social distancing are recommended,” Mnukwa said.
Respecting the right to vote

She further reminded employers, especially in the services and retail sector to allow their employees to exercise their democratic right to cast their votes today.
“Government is committed to ensuring a peaceful, free and fair election. Government, through the NATJOINTS [National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure], will act swiftly and decisively against those who would seek to disrupt elections. 

“We call on everyone to respect the right to vote and warn those who aim to disrupt elections or intimidate voters, that they will face the full might of the law,” Mnukwa said.

Voters who are registered to vote can send an SMS with their ID number to 32810 or WhatsApp to 0600 88 0000 to determine if they are on the IEC voter’s roll and locate the name of the voting station where they will cast their ballots. –

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