President Cyril Ramaphosa pledges 'new dawn' for South Africa

Marsha Scott
February 17, 2018

Mr Zuma, who had been in power since 2009, finally gave way in a resignation speech late on Wednesday. This took me back to the last years of the presidency of Daniel Moi.

Cyril Ramaphosa was officially elected as South Africa's fifth democratically elected state president on Thursday. Then there was the ever so slightly sardonic laughter during the speeches.

"It's not going to be easy to restore our investment credit rating but we are going to continue doing our best to maintain, at least from the point of view of Moody's, an investment grade and to ensure that the other ratings agencies do not revise us downwards", Gigaba told Reuters outside parliament in Cape Town. There was also the way they were both self-educated, and how they were seen as political chess grandmasters until their own hubris paved the way for defeat. The speech came across of more of the same. To many, he represents a kind of royalty of the African National Congress (ANC), an upper class that has grown removed from the average South African the party still claims to champion. Those were the same discussions that swirled around Moi and Kanu for an year before the 2002 election.

"Speculation is rife over who will read the budget on Wednesday, although we will be more focused on the content than the persona".

He said the country was seeing a new dawn.

Yet he vows that as president he will work for the ordinary citizen, root out the country's debilitating corruption and convince a skeptical public that, under him, the governing ANC can whittle away at the gaping inequality that has enraged millions of citizens.

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It was only past year - when it was clear Ramaphosa would not secure Zuma's support to succeed him in the party and in the government - that Ramaphosa began publicly distancing himself from Zuma. Ramaphosa will now lead the party - and the country - through to the 2019 general elections. He expanded government, blew out the public fisc and treated the state like his personal fiefdom.

Ramaphosa was a lead negotiator in the transition from apartheid to democracy and became one of South Africa's most prominent businessmen.

The opposition leader said Ramaphosa had promised no major policy reform‚ instead only tinkering with current policies that had not brought change to the lives of South Africans. However it would be wrong not to be clear that, in Kenyan terms, Ramaphosa is no outsider in the manner of Raila driving his NDP tractor into the Kanu Cockerel's hareem or chicken coop.

"This is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions", he said. Even though there was no real evidence of this.

In a direct appeal to poorer black voters - the core of the ANC's support - Ramaphosa said he would aim to speed up the transfer of land to black people.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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