President Cyril Ramaphosa received praises from South Africans when he revealed that 1 November 2021 will be a public holiday.
Why is 1 November a public holiday?
In a move that will surely earn him brownie points, the president invoked his executive powers and used Section 2(A) of the Public Holidays Act to declare Election Day a public holiday.
This, the president’s office explained, is to allow as many registered voters as possible enough time and freedom to practice their constitutional right on the day South Africans head to the polls ahead of the 2021 local government elections.
“The President calls on all registered voters to use the opportunity of the public holiday to exercise their democratic right and civic duty by voting in this election that empowers citizens to elect new leadership and influence service delivery where they live,” he said.
Therefore, it looks like another long weekend is on the cards in the next two weeks, as political parties ramp up efforts to win over as many votes as possible at the upcoming municipal elections.
“Voters are reminded as well that they will only be able to cast their votes at the polling stations in wards where they are registered. In the event that voters may consider travel, they will not be able to transfer their votes to voting stations away from their designated wards,” the presidency’s statement noted.
Employers are urged to find means to ensure that on the day,, workers are allowed to “exercise their Constitutional right to vote.”
Social media reacts to new long weekend
News of an extra long weekend has sent shockwaves across the internet. Here is how South Africans reacted to the news:
Cyril has given us another long weekend!! November 1 is a public holiday🎉🎉🎉— Trish Freeman (@trishfreeman24) October 11, 2021
1 November is public holiday and I have an exam ka di 2 😫😫— Don-Don (@Keneilwe23) October 11, 2021
PSA: 1 November has been declared a public holiday for local elections.— Duvane ⚽️ (@Duvane_M) October 11, 2021
If the EFF requested that 1 November 2021 be declared public holiday it would have been a matter court case and the proposal would have been greeted with denunciation and ridicule.— @Garveyism (@Tshepis22867469) October 12, 2021