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7 May announced as election day

Jacob Zuma says the fifth national general election is set for 7 May.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has announced this year's general elections will take place on 7 May.

A statement issued on behalf of President Jacob Zuma says, "After consulting with the IEC, I would like to inform the South African people locally and abroad, that the fifth national general elections in the Republic of South Africa will be held on the 7th of May 2014, throughout the country."

He added that the time had come to prepare for the fifth national general elections.

"I have met with the Independent Electoral Commission to discuss preparations, and also with the Premiers. We deliberated on this very important right of our people to elect a government of their choice, for which thousands of South Africans laid down their lives. I am satisfied that the IEC preparations are at an advanced stage."

Zuma said these would be historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of democracy.

"They provide an opportunity for us to further consolidate the democracy and freedom that we worked so hard to achieve, and for which esteemed South Africans such as former President Nelson Mandela sacrificed life's comforts for.

"Our country is a much better place to live in now than before 1994, because of the participation and contribution of South Africans."

He also urged people to go out in their thousands to register to vote this weekend.

Earlier this morning the presidency refused to confirm or deny whether Zuma would today announce the date of this year's general elections.

This came after Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille tweeting this morning that Zuma would announce the date later today.

Election date due to be announced today. This weekend is your last chance to REGISTER to vote. Take charge and bring change and jobs to SA!

The Presidency's Mac Maharaj said Zille had abused her position which placed her inside a confidential meeting.

"The Presidency takes serious exception to the leaking by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille of information that arose during a confidential consultation between the president, the premiers and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday to discuss election preparations."

But he would not confirm whether Zuma would make the announcement later this afternoon."I am not going into the details of whether what she is saying is true or not true in her statement."

To view the full statement click here.