JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the country’s sixth democratic president on Wednesday.
Eyewitness News has compiled some of Ramaphosa’s top quotes since taking over from former President Jacob Zuma last year.
HIS PLANS ON TACKLING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT:
Ramaphosa said they have launched a number of projects that were aimed at young people and he promised that government would create 1 million jobs to help curb the prevalent issue of youth unemployment.
“We’ve determined that we are going to create a million job opportunities for young people in the next three years. Now, that work has started. We’re opening pathways for young people to get into places of employment.”
INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE TO LIVING WAGE:
President Ramaphosa agreed that many workers in the country earned way below the minimum wage and promised that the minimum wage would go up to help curb poverty.
“That minimum wage will continue to go up.”
ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY & AVOIDING FURTHER CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADES:
South Africa has been battling to avoid rapid downgrades from rating agencies recently. The president promised to collaborate with different stakeholders to ensure that the economy continued to grow to avoid further downgrades.
“We have to build further on the collaboration with business and labour to restore confidence and prevent an investment downgrade, once more.”
CLEANING UP STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES:
Ramaphosa made a promise that an effective strategic plan would be put in place to address the escalating challenges facing state-owned entities.
“…And we are going to be bringing together some real top brains in our country, working with our ministers and we will find our way out of this.”
ADDRESSING POLITICIANS, LEADERS ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION:
Ramaphosa said leaders implicated in corruption would be dealt with by the law: “The due process of the law will make sure that there is accountability.”
THE APPALLING STATE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SECTOR:
South Africa’s public healthcare sector has been one of the many sectors in need of urgent attention. Ramaphosa acknowledged that the state of the country’s public health sector was in a crisis.
“I am very much aware of the crisis that we are facing in our health sector. Our hospitals are in need of proper infrastructure. Our National Health Insurance, which we are finalising, is going to be one of the solutions.”
HIS NEW CABINET: LESS OR MORE MINISTERS?
Ramaphosa has said that his new Cabinet would be pleasing to South Africans as he is under pressure to pick ministers untainted by scandal and to trim it down, with its size hinging on the extent to which government departments will be reconfigured for a leaner, more efficient administration.
Asked if he would downsize on his Cabinet, he said: “I am not yet sort of locked on numbers; I am dealing much more with functionality and efficacy.”