President Jacob Zuma cast his ballot before 11am near his home in Nkandla on Wednesday. In an interview with eNCA, he said that he was very impressed by the enthusiasm of people there for voting.
He said that he had “voted correctly”, meaning a vote for the ANC.
He had been warmly welcomed by the residents at the voting station earlier. Zuma said it felt good to be among the people he knew best.
The IFP won the ward five years ago, but he said he believed he’d be waking up to an ANC-run municipality tomorrow.
Zuma’s message to every South African, speaking as the state president, was that people should consider the vote important. He said “we are beginning to understand what voting means. Particularly local government elections are important for day-to-day life.”
He said that the campaign itself had “indicated the maturity of the citizens as well as political parties” who he said “by and large behaved very well”. He added that, of course, there had been “robustness in the elections, which is supposed to be the case”.
“I think everything went very well. There were no major issues that one can talk about. I want to believe that South Africa is in the leading position in Africa in terms of the maturity of our democracy, the understanding of the people in how we vote.”
He said that officials were very helpful to assist people in how to vote.
“I’m very pleased that we are demonstrating how democracy can be a good system for citizens to participate in the running of the country.”
He said “sitting at home is not healthy”.
“You’ve got to use your vote as an instrument to help this country to move forward quicker. Not voting does not leave a good impression of you as a person.
“Even if you say you don’t have a party that you favour, do decide. Your vote is important. Vote for any party that you love.”
He added that he wanted the council to develop Nkandla further, as it was poverty-stricken. He said that he always voted in Nkandla because his vote was important. He was born there, and he would be buried there.
He wanted councillors to “discuss things properly and bring about change” using their small budgets wisely to take their areas forward.