By the time you read this editorial comment, South Africans shall have completed their five-yearly assignments of having to vote for their favourite political party to represent their interests in the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Wide-spread electioneering campaigning by politicians representing different political parties has come and gone. And finally, millions of South Africans yesterday flocked to the different polling stations across the country to take part what had become the hottest voting contest yet after 1994 . During the campaigns, party leaders made a lot of promises committing their parties to a variety of undertakings in their bid to lure as many voters as possible to choose them to lead the country. And indeed, it will remain interesting to see whether all the promises made during the campaignings would be fulfilled.
Yesterday (Wednesday) millions of the electorate braved the early morning and late evening chill and bravely waited for their chances to makes their all-important mark.. Following the assurances from all authorities including government, police and the 48 political parties, no major incident happened during the generally peaceful elections.
Counting of the votes started in earnest at 21h00 last night (Wednesday) and already a few surprises were recorded but no major upset was expected. And what now remains is for the politicians and their parties to put their best feet forward. While voters will be expecting their parties to deliver as promised, South Africans are looking forward to a better future and the blossoming of a Rainbow Nation.
The important election coincided with the 25th anniversary of our constitutional democracy. In this instance, South Africans are expecting Parliament to play a leading role in driving our democracy programmes forward where all deserving parties voted into the National Assembly by the electorate will play the leading role . In a statement last week, the National Assembly said as the legislative authority of the democratic republic, Parliament must ensure there was government by the people, under the Constitution.
“The National Assembly must ensure this by choosing a President, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, by passing legislation and by checking and evaluating executive action of government. The National Council of Provinces ensures that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. It does this mainly by participating in the national legislative processes and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces. All in all, South Africans have spoken,. They have made their choice of the government they want to lead them into the next five years. We hope that opposition parties will work with the governing party in improving the lives of South Africans. We are hopeful that all the protesting, burning and destruction of schools, clinics, libraries and other national structures will come to an end as we all strive to rebuild our country, its economy, employment status, education and health institutions and provide much needed services to the masses who include the poor, homeless, disabled and the under privileged.