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Mbeki urges winning party to address issues of poverty

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Former president Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, urged whichever party wins the 2019 national and local government elections to live up to expectations of the electorate by addressing issues of poverty.

Speaking after casting his vote at the Holy Family College in Parktown, Johannesburg, Mbeki said he hoped voters would apply their minds in choosing the party of their choice.

“As I was voting, I was looking at the list of the parties that are contesting, [which] is a very long list. I think in order to be able to choose among all of these, would require us to apply our minds [and ask] what do these parties represent.

“Do they give hope? I really hope that people will apply their minds to this because the choice is very wide,” he said.

The former president declined to make any calls for people to vote for his ruling African National Congress, urging journalists to “respect the rules” which prevent campaigning on election day. He told reporters that there were high expectations and a huge responsibility upon the party and the person who will lead government after the elections.

“I think all of us are perfectly familiar with the aspirations of the people. There are common demands that all South Africans have.

“People are very concerned about unemployment, inequality. Therefore, whichever party gets elected nationally and provincially, will have a heavy responsibility to practically live up to the expectations of the people with regards to those matters,” Mbeki said.

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