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South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa takes oath; vows to continue fight corruption

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Pretoria | May 26, 2019 3:11:17 AM IST
Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday sworn-in for a five-year term as president of South Africa, with a promise to continue to fight against corruption.

The leader took oath in front of some 30,000 people at a stadium here. Several regional leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and elsewhere also attended the ceremony, Al Jazeera reports.

Ramaphosa said, "A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa," and promised that the nation was beginning "a new era of hope and renewal".

"The challenges our country face are huge and real. But they are not insurmountable. They can be solved. And I stand here today saying they are going to be solved," the President, 66, was quoted as saying.

The African National Congress (ANC) party garnered 57.5 per cent votes in the parliamentary elections held on May 8. However, it was the party's weakest election showing since the ANC took power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

Ramaphosa first took office last year after former President Jacob Zuma was pressured to resign amid corruption scandals that badly damaged public faith in the ANC.

Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, reporting from Pretoria, said the president called for equality and preservation of the country's resources.

"He said this will be a different era, an era that he will tackle the challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment that affects almost half of the young people in the country," Miller said.

"He also made reference to the last few years as nine wasted years where government institutions were looted and that corruption caused many lost opportunities," she added.

South Africa has the most advanced infrastructure in the continent, but its commodities-dependent economy has been in a slump for a decade.

The country's economy grew by 0.8 per cent last year and slipped into a brief recession during the third quarter of 2018. It is projected by the World Bank to expand by 1.3 per cent this year.

In addition, the unemployment rate is running at 27.6 per cent, but among the 20.3 million South Africans aged between 15-34 reaches 55.2 per cent.

Ramaphosa, on Saturday, also vowed to continue the fight against mismanagement and corruption that has hurt the country's economy. (ANI)

 
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