By Ashok Ramsarup :: President Cyril Ramaphosa says he’s aware of the challenges faced in South Africa, which became a democracy 25 years ago. Ramaphosa, who was sworn as the fifth president, told thousands of supporters and foreign dignitaries in his inauguration speech in Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country, that a better tomorrow was envisaged for all.
The day coincided with Africa Day when Ramaphosa who took the oath to be president on Saturday, said he was humbled to serve the country. He reaffirmed his commitment towards peace and friendship on the African continent which was showered with promises for a better existence for all.
Ramaphosa told the African leaders that the occasion was chosen to celebrate Africa Day to give poignancy to South Africa’s transformation from a pariah state to a full and valued member of the family of African nations.
He said: “ We also recognise with appreciation to those countries from other continents who have joined occasion as South Africa remain eternally grateful to all nations which played a significant role and their tireless contributions to the liberation of the country.
“Today, we reaffirm our determination to work with our sisters and brothers across the continent to realise the African Union’s vision of Agenda 2063,” said Ramaphosa.
His aim was to build the Africa that all Africans want in a bid to forge a free trade area and stretches from Cape Town to Cairo that would stimulate growth and opportunities and forge ahead peace and harmony on the African continent.
Coincidentally 25 yearS ago, the late father of modern day liberation Nelson Rolihahla Mandela was sworn in as the first president of a democratic South Africa. Taking that into account, Ramaphosa said despite the fierce political contestation among 48 political parties, they share the hopes and aspirations to alleviate poverty, encouraging economic growth and improving job opportunities.
He acknowledged that many South Africans still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases and many live of intolerable deprivation and many do not work especially the youth. Ramaphosa said the challenges were real, but they could be solved as the people want change and a better South Africa.
Mr Ramaphosa latched on the country’s constitution, adding that the basic law of our the land, continues to guide the way even at the darkest hour.
“Let us forge a compact for an efficient, capable and ethical state, a state that is free from corruption, for companies that generate social value and propel human development, for elected officials and public servants who faithfully serve no other cause than that of the public,” he added.
Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa