South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Tuesday that he is confident of a big voter turnout in local government elections on Wednesday and expects the African National Congress to do well.
Mbeki made the statement on the eve of local government elections slated for March 1, which is declared a public holiday.
However, analysts here said that they did not expect a big turnout but a low turnout in the local government elections due to local people's protest against poor delivery by the ANC government.
"I say I expect we will get a good turnout," Mbeki told journalists at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters in downtown Johannesburg after a series of door-to-door campaigns.
"The message I got from voters is that there is a great deal of enthusiasm to partake in tomorrow's election. There is now a better understanding of the importance of local government.
"Previously there was a large voter turnout in national and provincial elections and a significantly smaller turnout for local government elections.
"My sense is there is somewhat of a turnaround in mood. There is a conviction amongst people that there problems can be addressed," Mbeki said.
Many potential voters had complained to him about a variety of issues during his campaigning.
However, he felt they were not complaining in the knowledge that nothing would be done, but criticizing the ANC where they felt something had to be done, with the expectation that the party would do so.
Mbeki said voters with this attitude would not be disappointed. "This is not an idle promise, it's an undertaking," he said.