Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his inauguration speech to declare that a new dawn has arrived for South Africa and has called on citizens to forge a social compact that will be free and equal and resolute.
Ramaphosa said the compact should not just be between business and labour but for society at large.
“Let us forge a compact for growth and economic opportunity, for
productive lands and viable communities, for knowledge, for innovation,
and for services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable,”
“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 was addressing thousands of people during his inauguration at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday.
Ramaphosa said society should value hard work and aim to uplift young people and the role they can play in the country.
“We must be a society that values excellence, rewards effort and hard work and rejects mediocrity. We must be a society that values its young people by creating a conducive environment for them to gain skills and be productively employed to develop our country,” he said.
He also conceded that the challenges of corruption and lack of service delivery which have impacted a number of South Africans. He said the task of rebuilding will not be easy.
“In recent times, our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptation of power and riches. They have seen some of the very institutions of our democracy eroded and resources squandered. The challenges that we face are real. But they are not insurmountable,” Ramaphosa said.
“They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions. As we give effect to their mandate, we draw comfort from the knowledge that that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us.”
Ramaphosa pledged to work and build a country that its citizens deserve.
“And I pledge here today that I will serve you, I will work with you, side by side, to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve. A new era has dawned in our country,” Ramaphosa said. – IOL