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Ramaphosa Sworn-in As President Of S/Africa, Promises New Era



Cyril Ramaphosa vowed a “new era” yesterday, after he was sworn in as president of South Africa at a colourful ceremony at the capital, as he looks to revitalising his push to revive the economy and fight corruption.

Foreign heads of state from more than 40 countries were among 36,000 people who witnessed the event replete with pomp, military honours and an airforce flyover at a rugby stadium in Pretoria.

Ramaphosa, who became president last year through internal politics in his African National Congress (ANC) party and won a popular mandate in elections on May 8, faces an uphill battle to drive through reforms in a country suffering from chronic jobless rates, inequality, crime and endemic corruption.

“A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa,” said Ramaphosa, promising that the nation was beginning “a new era of hope and renewal.

“This is a defining moment for a young nation like ours. It is a time for us to make the future that we yearn for,” added the 66-year-old.

The former trade unionist played a prominent part in the struggle to end white-minority rule – at one point seen as a protege of Nelson Mandela, before becoming a successful businessman and also served as vice president to former president Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa vowed to root out corruption as he took over power last year when the ANC forced scandal-plagued Zuma to resign after nine years in office.

Yesterday, he pledged, “to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.

“Let us forge a compact for an efficient, capable and ethical state, a state that is free from corruption.”

Ramaphosa faces a herculean task to tackle the country’s many problems- from a sickly economy, in which more than a quarter of the workforce is jobless, to land ownership that remains overwhelmingly in the hands of whites.


Many solutions will require him to inch his way along a high wire, balancing leftwing calls for radical change with investors’ demands for caution.


Corruption scandals and the country’s economic struggles have also dented the support for the ANC.


The party won 57.5 per cent of the vote on May 8, its weakest result since apartheid was overturned 25 years ago.



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