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Ramaphosa Promises to Improve as South Africa Heads to the Polls

As South Africa prepares for their election, the four main political parties have launched their last effort to sway voters during the final weekend of campaigning, ahead of a vote that could usher in the most significant transformation, South African's President, Cyril Ramaphosa concluded his final rally.

As South Africa prepares for elections next week, President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to address pressing issues such as unemployment and social welfare, acknowledging the need for improvement, as his party, the African National Congress, faces a potential threat to its three-decade-long hold on power, according to recent polls.

In the last weekend before the crucial national and provincial elections, political parties are staging rallies to sway voters and make a final push for support.

Poll forecasts suggest the ANC may win less than 50% of the vote, an outcome that would compel the party to seek coalition partners, marking a significant departure from its 30-year dominance, which began with Nelson Mandela’s leadership during South Africa’s transition from apartheid.

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“We gather here carrying with us the hopes and aspirations of millions of our people, to declare that together, we will do more and we will do better,” Mr. Ramaphosa told supporters gathered at a soccer stadium in the country’s most populous township, Soweto.

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He further noted that the South African will have to choose between a progressive future with the ANC or a return to a troubled past.

“On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, our people will decide whether our country continues moving forward with the ANC towards a better, brighter future or backwards to a terrible past,” he added.

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He said the party’s agenda includes creating more jobs for South Africans, reducing the burden of the high cost of living, maintaining current social support programs, and phasing in a basic income grant to ensure a minimum level of economic security for all, including the unemployed.

Unemployed since age 31, Meshack Jantjie is pinning his hopes on the ANC and President Ramaphosa’s promise to create jobs, an issue he considers pressing and imperative, influencing his decision to vote for the party.

The ANC is heading into the election on uncertain terrain, beset by widespread corruption allegations, a staggering unemployment rate, and a stagnant economy, which have collectively eroded public trust and confidence in the party’s leadership.

The transition from white minority rule to democracy in 1994 raised hopes for a brighter future, but the reality is that more than 30% of South Africans remain jobless and the country faces staggering income inequality, among the worst globally, casting a shadow over the promises of a more equal and prosperous society.

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