Election date announced

During his State of the Nation address (Sona) on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the 2019 general election will be held on May 8.

“I have engaged with the Independent Electoral Commission and also with the Premiers of all provinces, and intend to proclaim the 8th of May 2019 as the date of the election,” Ramaphosa said.

The eagerly anticipated announcement will ramp up political parties’ efforts to garner votes in a decidedly more competitive climate.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa began his speech with an anecdote that involved a recent interaction with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commander-in-chief Julius Malema.

“I want to start with a disclaimer that arises from my input last year when I invoked Hugh Masekela’s song Thuma Mina,” Ramaphosa began.

He said he remembered that at that time, when he made his maiden Sona speech, Malema had told him to sing the song.

“I hesitated for a while but I thought wise not to do so,” Ramaphosa said.

He then presented his punchline, saying that if Malema were to become president after the election, Ramaphosa might very well sing the song.

“Yesterday I met Mr Malema… and we agreed that if the EFF wins the election and he is installed as the president then he will invite me to sing for him,” Ramaphosa said.

The EFF had entered the chamber singing protest songs prior to Ramaphosa’s arrival at Parliament. It had been widely anticipated that the red berets would disrupt the House, but instead their only attempt at disruption was to sit during the singing of ‘Die Stem’ and to remain seated when Ramaphosa arrived instead of standing with the rest of the chamber.

South Africans have 90 days until they head to the polls. 

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders