New South African President Delivers First State of Nation Address

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa declared a new era of hope for the country as he used his second day in office to deliver the State of the Nation address, pledging to tackle corruption, unemployment and inequality. "We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon".

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said the December 2017 resolution by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of expropriating land without compensation will not be taken off the table.

Ramaphosa's election as president, which was unopposed in the parliament, has prompted a wave of optimism among South Africans hungry for change after nine years of economic stagnation and corruption scandals.

"We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money, and is free from corruption", the President said.


The Guptas and Mr Zuma have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

"Tough decisions have to be made to close our fiscal gap, stabilise our debt and restore our state-owned enterprises to health", said Ramaphosa in his speech, adding that the creation of jobs was a priority in his agenda for 2018. But police raided the Guptas' Johannesburg home this week. Zuma had been unable to give the speech because of the leadership crisis.

Civil society bodies and opposition parties have also been calling for the size of the cabinet to be reduced. But he said land reform should be "implemented in a way that increases agricultural production and improves food security". A controversial government charter for the sector will be revisited, he said.


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