'It feels like 1994 all over again': Cyril Ramaphosa after voting in Soweto

President says the ANC will use its 'clear mandate' to grow the economy

08 May 2019 - 13:18 By QAANITAH HUNTER
President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a renewed emphasis on economic growth after the elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a renewed emphasis on economic growth after the elections.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Wednesday’s vote reminds him of the 1994 elections.

He cast his vote at midday at Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo, Soweto - the area where he grew up. 

“This is a vote that reminds us of 1994, because in 1994 our people were just as excited as this, because they were heralding a new period, a new future for our country. And today this is what I am picking up. Our people are really excited at what lies tomorrow,” Ramaphosa said shortly after casting his vote. 

Ramaphosa was met at his voting station by Gauteng premier David Makhura as well as IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini.

President Cyril Ramaphosa voted in the 2019 elections and spoke with the media regarding the ANC’s mandate after the elections on May 8 2019.

Together with his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, Ramaphosa interacted with party supporters and others gathered at the voting station.

After entering, he showed his ballot and his marked thumb to the media before going into the booth to vote.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Ramaphosa said these elections would be a vote of confidence in the ruling party, adding that he hoped the outcome would be “in line with what our people wish to see”.

He said the ANC would use its clear mandate to accelerate economic growth. “The mandate that we are getting here is that we must hasten service delivery. I've been saying that I don’t want any further excuses; I just want to work. Implementing our policies and doing what is right for our people is going to be my overriding concern - day in, day out,” said Ramaphosa. 

“This election has largely been about local issues, less so about national issues,” he said.

He said the main national issue at stake in this election has been jobs. “We are committed that we can embark on growing the economy [and] attracting investment. The outcome of this election will also be a major boost to investors, who want to look at South Africa differently,” said Ramaphosa. 

“The challenges we face in our country is unemployment, inequality and poverty. We've got grinding poverty in our country. Much as we have done a lot over the past 25 years to reduce the ravages of poverty, inequality remains and unemployment is still high."