South Africa's Cabinet has urged Zimbabwean citizens to participate in Saturday's referendum to help pave the way for peaceful and credible elections in their country.
The referendum will indicate whether or not Zimbabweans accept a new draft constitution. If it passes the referendum, the draft will replace the current constitution, which was crafted in London ahead of that country's independence from Britain in 1980.
Indications are that the majority of Zimbabweans will vote in favour of the draft, as all the major parties are urging their supporters to accept it.
The three political parties represented in the legislature - President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and the smaller MDC whose leadership is under dispute between Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube - have endorsed the draft.
According to the power-sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by the now governing parties in 2008 following inconclusive elections the same year, fresh elections must be held after the country makes a new constitution.
South African government spokesperson Phumla Williams said the Cabinet had commended President Jacob Zuma's efforts towards the full implementation of the GPA in his role as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator of political dialogue in Zimbabwe.
"The completion of the constitutional process creates conducive conditions for a referendum," Williams told journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, adding that the South African government wanted to see the full implementation of the GPA.