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Ramaphosa sworn in as South Africa’s president for 2nd term

Ramaphosa sworn in as South Africa’s president for 2nd term

Photo: AP

Johannesburg: Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a second term as South Africa's president on Wednesday in Pretoria, with the support of a party coalition, for the first time in the country's 30-year history. Ramaphosa will now appoint a Cabinet in a new coalition administration after his African National Congress party lost its parliamentary majority in an election last month.

He was reelected president by parliamentarians on Friday after the main opposition party and a minor third party joined forces with the ANC to co-govern Africa's largest industrialised economy.

He will be leading the first coalition administration with no party having a majority. What the ANC is referring to as a government of national unity will consist of at least three parties, with additional parties welcome to join, the Associated Press reported.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo administered the oath of office to Ramaphosa in a public ceremony held at the government headquarters, the Union Buildings.

Numerous luminaries, including former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga, president Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu, and King Mswati III of Eswatini, attended the inaugural ceremony as Ramaphosa began what looks to be a challenging final term in power.

In his speech to the country, Ramaphosa declared that the people had spoken and that their wishes would be carried out.

“The voters of South Africa did not give any single party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realize their aspirations,” he said.

The newly elected head of state said that the people of South Africa “have also been unequivocal in expressing their disappointment and disapproval of our performance in some of the areas in which we have failed them.”

Additionally, Ramaphosa acknowledged that South African society "remains deeply unequal and highly polarised," which could " easily turn into instability.”

“The lines drawn by our history, between black and white, between man and woman, between suburbs and townships, between urban and rural, between the wealthy and the poor, remain etched in our landscape,” he said.

In addition, he pledged that the new government would try to address the dire unemployment rate by generating new jobs and tackling the supply of vital services like clean water, housing, and healthcare.

Although Ramphosa's remarks were intended to comfort a populace that was already experiencing financial hardship, leading the new administration may prove difficult.

It is composed of political groups that have opposing ideologies and differ on a number of issues, such as proposed solutions to the nation's chronic electricity crisis and land redistribution policies, as well as their differing opinions on affirmative action.

Prominent parties like the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party have already become members of the alliance; it is quite probable that other parties like the Patriotic Alliance, the GOOD Party, and the Pan Africanist Congress will also join.

But the left-leaning Economic Freedom Fighters party and the uMkhonto weSizwe Party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, the third-largest party, have declined to join it.

It is uncertain when the seventh government of South Africa will announce the formation of its new cabinet.

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