Government ready for next president

Government says it expects a smooth transition between the country’s fourth and fifth executives after this week’s national and provincial elections.

“The planning for the transition is proceeding accordingly with all ministerial ‘end of term` reports due by 24 April 2009,” government spokesman Themba Maseko says these reports are aimed at facilitating a smooth transition to the “next administration”, widely expected to be controversial African National Congress president Jacob Zuma.

Veteran political analyst Allister Sparks expects the ANC that has ruled South Africa since 1994 to garner between 60 and 65% of the vote, down from 70% in 2004.

He expects the largest Parliamentary opposition party, the Democratic Alliance to grow from 12% to 15% and the ANC-splinter party, the Congress of the People, led by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota to win between eight and 10% of the vote. Under SA`s proportional representation system 10% of the vote will translate into 40 seats in the 400-seat National Assembly.           

Cabinet at its last meeting chaired by outgoing President Kgalema Motlanthe set the date for the inauguration of the next head of state on Saturday 9 May at the Union Buildings.

“The inauguration will take place on Heads of State and Government have been invited to join the nation in witnessing and celebrating the inauguration of fourth democratically elected President of the Republic, Maseko says.

“Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony at the Union Building lawns. The theme for the event is ‘Together, celebrating a vibrant democracy and building a better life for all`.”