CAPE TOWN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Africa will hold its national and provincial elections on May 7, President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday.
"We hold national general elections without fail every five years," Zuma said in a statement. "These are historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage."
Zuma said the electoral term of the present government will come to an end on April 22.
The time has come for South Africans to work together again, to prepare for the fifth national general elections since the end of apartheid in 1994, Zuma noted.
Zuma said he has met with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to discuss preparations, and also with the nine 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," Zuma said.
He said he is satisfied that the IEC preparations are at an advanced stage.
Zuma said South Africa is a much better place to live in now than before 1994, because of the participation and contribution of South Africans.
"We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred. "
The president reminds all people to go out to register to vote this coming Saturday and Sunday, the last registration period for this election.
He invites the youth to register to vote in the cities and towns where they are studying and wherever they will be in May this year.
"We rely on the youth to take the benefits of this freedom forward, and to build this country further. South Africa is their inheritance," Zuma said.
"Most importantly, I urge all our people to promote peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence as we move towards the elections and during the elections."
As a dominant political party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is set to win the elections with over 60 percent of the electoral support, although its popularity is declining.
The DA is determined to keep the Western Cape and will try to take control of Gauteng Province, the economic hub of the country.
As of Thursday, overall registration stood at 24.1 million, 76. 7 percent of the estimated voting age population which, according to Statistics SA, is 31.4 million.
The IEC has set itself a target of 80 percent of the voting age population on the voters' roll by proclamation date.