IEC must ensure that voters can deliver SA’s new democratic era - John Steenhuisen

DA leader reiterates call for far more international observers to be accredited to ensure a free and fair election

The IEC must ensure that voters can deliver South Africa’s new democratic era

4 April 2024

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, during the IEC's National Code of Conduct and Ballot Paper Draw at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a privilege to be here today to reaffirm the Democratic Alliance’s commitment to our country’s constitutional democracy.

The DA has a proud track record of fighting to preserve, protect and uphold our constitutional dispensation in the face of threats it has faced over the years, including endemic corruption, state capture and service delivery failure.

But the 2024 general election presents both the greatest opportunity and challenge that our democratic dispensation has ever faced.

This is because, for the first time in thirty years, one-party rule is set to come to an end.

This reality makes the 2024 election fundamentally different from any elections that have come before.

South Africa’s democracy is now in the throes of a fundamental transition into a new era of truly competitive elections.

The DA is excited and energised by the maturing of South African democracy.

We are working flat-out to ensure that we use this opportunity to bring positive change to the people.

But we are also keenly aware of the risks.

We have already observed how the impending loss of power by a once-dominant party has opened up space for radicalism and violent threats.

I wish to emphasise to the IEC today that the competitive new political reality that confronts us places enormous responsibilities on the shoulders of this Chapter 9 institution.

This moment in history calls upon the IEC to serve as the midwife for South Africa’s transition to a truly mature, competitive democracy.

It is a task in which the IEC dare not fail.

We therefore call upon the IEC to take firm and decisive action against all those who threaten or act to undermine the integrity and outcome of this watershed election.

We also reiterate our call for far more international observers to be accredited to ensure a free and fair election.

The more eyes we have on this historic election, the better.

For our part, let me assure you of the DA’s commitment to safeguarding the integrity of our electoral process.

Our commitment is to protect South Africa from those who would exploit the end of one-party rule to foster anarchy.

Our commitment is to ensure that, after the fall of one-party rule, South Africa emerges from the 2024 election with a more robust, mature and healthy democracy than ever before.

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP - Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 4 April 2024