Acceptance speech by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the announcement of 2014 general election results and the declaration of ANC election victory, IEC National Results Centre, Pretoria
10 May 2014
The Chairperson of the IEC Advocate Pansy Tlakula and your commissioners and management,
Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MECs, Executive Mayors,
The leadership of the ANC and other political parties,
Chief Justice of the Republic
Deputy Chief Justice
Fellow South Africans,
Good evening to you all.
It is a pleasure to join you at this occasion that celebrates yet another successful national general election in our young democracy.
The Freedom Charter states profoundly that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.
Our constitutional democracy is governed by that principle.
Millions of our people came out on the 7th of May to cast their votes.
They have spoken eloquently on which party should govern.
We are delighted and humbled that they have yet again chosen the African National Congress.
We are particularly moved by the fact that we accept this overwhelming mandate from our people on an important day in our country's history, the 10th of May.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the day on which President Nelson Mandela took the oath of office as the first President of a free and democratic South Africa.
We dedicate our victory to Madiba's memory, and pledge to continue taking forward his legacy and that of his peers and forebears, working with all our people.
This election victory has re-confirmed just how deeply rooted the ANC is in the hearts and minds of the overwhelming majority of South Africans.
We read this vote of confidence to be a strong sign of approval of the good work that we have done in the past twenty years in general and the last five years in particular, in building a better life for all.
It is an affirmation of our assertion that South Africa has a good story to tell, and that we have made this country a much better place to live in than it was before 1994.
The victory also reaffirms that the ANC remains the only true hope for the majority of our people, particularly the poor and the working class.
In this regard, we will use our majority to implement policies and programmes that further improve the quality of life of all, especially the poor, as outlined in our 2014 Manifesto.
We will use this victory to continue delivering water, electricity, roads, schools, clinics, good schools and all amenities that enable our people to live in decent human settlements, in both urban and rural areas.
The new mandate is also a license to continue with our ambitious infrastructure build programme, and ensure the provision of better roads, universities and colleges, hospitals, dams, railway lines and and power stations that boost economic and social development.
Key and central to this infrastructure programme is skills development and the economic empowerment of the youth.
More importantly, this mandate gives us the green light to implement the National Development Plan and to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation.
There is a lot that we have to do and we are determined to do more as we build the society outlined in the National Development Plan.
Siyabonga kakhulu kubantu base-Ningizimu Afrika ngokusihlonipha nokusethemba okungaka.
Senisinikeze amandla okuqhubela intuthuko phambili.
Siswele amazwi anele okunibonga. Ukwanda kwaliwa umthakathi!
Njengoba seludlulile ukhetho, masisukume sisebenze sonke, sakhe izwe lethu, siliqhubele phambili.
Uhulumeni omusha ozokhethwa maduze nje, uzosebenza ngokuzikhandla ukuze siqhubeke nokushintsha lelizwe, senze impilo ibengcono kubantu bonke, ikakhulukazi abampofu nabasebenzi.
Allow me to thank the IEC for managing this important national task successfully and enabling our people to exercise their constitutional right to vote diligently.
The IEC has successfully maintained its track record of running successful, free and fair elections.
Where there were logistical challenges, there were resolved speedily to allow people to exercise their democratic rights to vote.
We thank the voters as well for their patience, tolerance and understanding during some of the logistical challenges.
We are truly grateful to the African Union election observer team, led by the former President of Ghana, His Excellency Mr John Kufuor, and the SADC mission, led by Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Namibia.
Their participation has contributed to the consolidation of our democracy in line with the AU mission of entrenching democracy and good governance throughout the continent.
The declaration of the elections as free, fair, transparent and credible, is an achievement for the South African people.
We also thank the political leadership and officials in all government departments in the three spheres of government, who worked around the clock to ensure success.
We single out the Department of Home Affairs as the lead department and also the security services such as the police, defence force, traffic authorities and others.
More importantly, we thank all South Africans for turning out in their millions again to cast their votes. They proved commentators who predicted apathy wrong.
We applaud in particular, our senior voters, 140 year-old mama Mutangwa Mukwevho from Limpopo and 109 year old mama Elisa Dlamini from Gauteng.
They set a good example for first time voters, especially the youth, and demonstrated to all of us, just how important the right to vote is.
We also wish to acknowledge the co-operation of communities that had been identified as hotspots, such as Marikana in North West, Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape and Bekkersdal in Gauteng. Although having raised some concerns, they were still able to participate in the elections without hinderances.
No community in our country should live in a state of turmoil. The issues they have raised will be addressed by the new government.
While applauding the peaceful and successful nature of the elections, we also wish to express our shock, disgust and sadness at the tragic killing of ANC party agent Ms Winnie ”Nuh” Mhlongo, at a polling station in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal.
We strongly condemn this callous killing. It has no place in our democracy where people are free to express themselves without resorting to such brutality.
Sithi umndeni wakwa-Mhlongo mawulale ngenxeba.
Let me thank all the political parties that participated in this election and for the spirit of cooperation that ensured a positive outcome and success.
We congratulate all parties that did well and won seats in parliament and legislatures. To those who did not make it, losing is part of the democratic process.
Also important to note is that the people are never wrong. They make their determination based on their observation and experience. We should all respect their will.
Allow me to conclude by extending our profound gratitude to the more than 11 million people who voted for the ANC.
The ANC will be humble in its victory. 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.
God bless South Africa!
I thank you.