Morocco king congratulates South Africa's new president

An ANC supporter
There is an air of genuine hope that president Cyril Ramaphosa will guide South Africa along a new path
Author

17 February, 2018

An education expert said that she hopes President Cyril Ramaphosa will use his first State of the Nation Address on Friday night to address a key dimension in the education system.

The 65-year-old was confirmed as the country's new leader on Thursday just hours after his scandal-plagued predecessor Jacob Zuma finally resigned.

In his first State of the Nation address to parliament, Ramaphosa struck a note of optimism and outlined a vision to revive the country's economy.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa will appoint a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance into the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Financial markets have rallied since Ramaphosa took over from Zuma as ANC leader in December, as investors warmed to his pledges to straighten out the country's struggling state-owned enterprises and woo overseas investment.

He thanked Zuma for the way he had approached recent events.

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"Expect huge scrutiny of the new cabinet, likely to be appointed over the weekend, as President Ramaphosa treads the line between party unity and his promise to fight corruption", Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns said. The ACDP said it welcomed the promise to deal with corruption. Two decades after the end of apartheid, the ANC is under pressure to redress racial disparities in land ownership where whites own most of the land.

Ramaphosa said mining had potential for growth and jobs. Importantly, Ramaphosa said we are building a country where a person's prospects are determined by their own initiative and hard work, and not by the colour of their skin, place of birth, gender, language or income of their parents. He sat on many corporate boards and acquired interests in many sectors - including mining, finance, South Africa's McDonald's restaurants and Coca-Cola bottling plants - where his high-level ties to the ANC proved useful.

Despite its many challenges, including the now-discredited Zuma leadership, the ANC continues to straddle the political scene here in South Africa in a way that makes it truly the "Mama na Baba" political party that in his heyday, former President Moi would have given his ivory rungu to lead.

"I look forward to the debate we welcome the speech".

EFF leader Julius Malema said in advance that the party would not disrupt the state of the nation address because "our people are longing for the day when the state of the nation is delivered in a peaceful environment". "What Marikana gives us is an opportunity - it has come at great cost - to actually start afresh", Ramaphosa said in an interview in 2012.

Ramaphosa, who will see out the remainder of Zuma's presidential term until elections next year, faces an uphill battle to win public and investor support.

Masekela, a legendary South African trumpeter and jazz legend, died in Johannesburg on 23 January 2018 from prostate cancer.


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