Cyril Ramaphosa vowed a “new era” yesterday after he was sworn in as president of South Africa at a colourful ceremony in the capital, as he looks to revitalise 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 air force 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 served as vice president to former president Jacob Zuma.
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