3 May 2014
Two weeks ago, Government, through the Security Cluster Ministers, announced a detailed plan of ensuring that the elections on the 7th of May 2014 are not only free and fair but are peaceful and secured. The report from security agencies noted that the country is stable and the environment is conducive for successful elections, save for a few areas that have been flagged as hotspots.
The Security Cluster Minsters further announced their intention to visit these areas that have been profiled as hotspots with a view to ensure that they interact with relevant stakeholders in the community. The plan was also to put in place necessary measures to ensure that these areas were stabilized so that all South Africans can go out and exercise their constitutional right to vote.
The Ministers visited Kwa-Mashu and Wembezi in KwaZulu-Natal, Mannenberg in the Western Cape, Sterskpruit in the Eastern Cape, Freedom Park and Itsoseng in North West and today at Bekkersdal in Gauteng. They crisscrossed the country, spoke to communities, conducted walk-abouts and obtained detailed briefings from security structures on the ground.
Government calls for peace and all people to be free to exercise their vote freely as part of our democracy consolidation. However, we have noted few incidents of instability.
The message that government conveyed and continues to do so, is that there will be no tolerance towards those who want to disrupt the elections, in any way or form. No one will be allowed to prevent anyone from exercising his or her constitutionally enshrined right to vote. Security structures have been mobilized and stand ready to act swiftly to remove disruptive elements and ensure that our people feel free and safe to go out and exercise their right to vote.
Having visited all the areas, as the Ministers in the cluster we issue the following final declaration:
- The number of hotspots across the country has significantly decreased. This is informed by the interventions made over the past weeks as a direct consequence of the work by security agencies on the ground and these elections hotspots visits by the Ministers. As the cluster we are humbled by the reception we received in our interactions with the people on the ground.
- All voting stations and operational centres of the IEC will be secured with appropriate police deployments. The SANDF also stands ready to provide additional deployments, in support of the SAPS should the need arise. Provincial Joint Operations are activated across the country and fully operational.
- The security forces and law enforcement agencies stand ready to ensure the elections are safe and secure. Over the next 48 hours, the state of deployments will be heightened to the appropriate level in accordance to security assessments.
- The National Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) will manage and coordinate all security related issues.
The Security Cluster Ministers are confident that these elections will run smoothly. Government would like to reassure South Africans that the 2014 general elections will be free from any form of intimidation, safe and secured. Accordingly, government urges every eligible voter to go out and exercise his or her constitutional right to vote for the party of his or her choice. Let us strengthen our democracy by excising our civil responsibility.
I thank you.
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System