Election Day declared a public holiday

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President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: ENCA).

THE President for the Republic of South Africa PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa on February 26 declared this year’s election date as an official public holiday.

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa urged South African employers to observe May 8, as a public holiday and encourage employees to use the day to exercise their right to vote.

“The President has in terms of Section 50(1) of the Constitution dissolved the National Assembly. This follows a National Assembly resolution adopted on 21 February 2019,” said the Presidency in a media statement.

The statement furthermore said all Premiers have also declared May 8, 2019, as the date of the election of provincial legislatures.

These proclamations have been published in the Government Gazette.

The President has also in terms of Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act of 1994 declared 8 May 2019 as a public holiday throughout the country.

Welcoming the proclamation, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said the development triggers the official election timetable which the Electoral Commission will discuss with the National Party Liaison Committee before publishing in the Government Gazette.

The IEC said the proposed election timetable spans the next 71 days and lays down the key dates and deadlines for various milestones until voting day on 8 May 2019.

“The proclamation places the preparation of the elections into a different trajectory. It gives a greater impetus to the currently unfolding election preparations,” IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said on the day of the announcement.

The Commission will now have to escalate preparations so that all electoral activities are accomplished in time for Election Day