South Africa's new leader pledges to tackle state corruption

An ANC supporter

There is an air of genuine hope that president Cyril Ramaphosa will guide South Africa along a new path

We've had to wait a few extra days, but tonight South Africans will finally receive a State of the Nation Address (SONA) from its President, albeit not the one they've enjoyed for almost a decade.

Ramaphosa said key manufacturing sectors would be overhauled to demonstrate opportunities for worldwide investors and said there there would be further actions to boost growth in the agricultural sector.

While markets judge the political outlook for South Africa has improved, the fact remains that Ramaphosa - Nelson Mandela's preferred choice to lead the African National Congress (ANC) - only just managed to scrape victory in the party's leadership elections. Zuma did the right thing by stepping down before he was removed from his seat as president. Zuma denies all the corruption allegations against him. It was as rare a display of cross-party support as we've seen for many years.

The speech came only a day after Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa's fifth democratically elected president.

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Mandela reportedly favored Ramaphosa to take over for him as ANC leader, but in 1997 the party instead chose Thabo Mbeki, who later succeeded Mandela as president.

Others, Hartley said, didn't want Ramaphosa to assume the role as Mandela's No. 2 because he was a remainee and did not climb the ANC ranks in exile.

Speaking to Inside Education on Friday, Professor Ruksana Osman said that Ramaphosa will have to address the "overall functionality" of the education system to ensure that all children have access to a good quality education.

He also said former police commissioner Bheki Cele must replace Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in the new cabinet.

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"This is not a flash in the pan", Ramaphosa said.

It was only a year ago - when it was clear Ramaphosa would not secure Zuma's support to succeed him in the party and in the government - that Ramaphosa began publicly distancing himself from Zuma. He sat on many corporate boards and acquired interests in many sectors - including mining, finance, South Africa's McDonald's restaurants and Coca-Cola bottling plants - where his high-level ties to the ANC proved useful.

"I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability". Sticking with Zuma would be bad - for everyone - in the next elections in 2019.

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