Pretoria: A victorious President Jacob Zuma on Saturday pledged to work with all South Africans, irrespective of which party they voted for, to build a better life for the all the country`s citizens.
Zuma was speaking here this evening after the Independent Electoral Commission announced the final results of the national elections held on Wednesday that saw the African National Congress (ANC) led by Zuma win overwhelming majorities in all but one of the nine provinces of South Africa and 249 of the 400 seats in the national assembly.
Zuma will return as president for a second term.
"We dedicate our victory to Madiba`s memory and pledge to continue taking forward his legacy and that of his peers and forebears working with all our people," Zuma said as he reminded the audience that he was speaking on the day that Nelson Mandela took the oath of office 20 years earlier as South Africa`s first democratically elected president after decades of white-minority apartheid rule.
The Democratic Alliance will remain the official opposition in the national assembly with 89 seats and will also be the provincial government in the Western Cape province again, with the ANC as the official opposition there.
New party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) won 25 seats in the national assembly.
EFF was formed by former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema after he was expelled from the party for his outspoken rhetoric which was against ANC policy on issues such as nationalisation of assets and foreign policy issues.
"This election victory has reconfirmed just how deeply rooted the ANC is in the hearts and minds of the overwhelming majority of South Africans," Zuma said.
"We read this vote of confidence to be a strong sign of approval of the good work that we have done in the past 20 years in general and the last five years in particular in building a better life for all.
"It is an affirmation of our assertion that South Africa has a good story to tell and we have made this country a much better place to live in than it was before 1994," he said.
Zuma promised to use the ANC majority to implement policies and programmes to address the lack of service delivery which has seen huge protests in many areas in the run-up to the elections.
"The new mandate is also a licence to continue with our ambitious infrastructure building programme that boosts economic and social development," Zuma said, adding that the emphasis would be on skills development and economic empowerment of youth.