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President Ramaphosa Calls for Unity and Transformation in Inauguration Speech

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a stirring address during his inauguration ceremony at the Union Buildings in Tshwane today, calling for unity and a renewed commitment to the principles of democracy, equality, and social justice. 

The ceremony was attended by an array of distinguished guests, including kings, queens, heads of state, government officials, and representatives from various international organisations.

In his speech, President Ramaphosa emphasized the significance of the event as a reaffirmation of South Africa’s democratic values. “Today, we gather under this vast Highveld sky at the seat of our government to witness before all South Africans and our honoured guests a fundamental rite of our democracy,” he declared. 

Ramaphosa highlighted the country’s progress since the adoption of the Freedom Charter nearly seventy years ago, asserting that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. 

He underscored the necessity of healing past divisions and addressing ongoing inequalities, stating, “We declare for all to know that neither discord nor dissent shall cause us to cast aside that which calls us to build a united, free, just, equal and prosperous nation.”

The President affirmed his dedication to upholding the Constitution and the vision of the Freedom Charter, committing to the transformation of South Africa into a non-racial and non-sexist society. He expressed a resolute quest to build a more inclusive economy that offers opportunities to all citizens. 

Acknowledging the recent election results, Ramaphosa accepted the mandate to work collaboratively with various political parties to meet the electorate’s expectations. He noted, “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 realise their aspirations.”

The President also recognized the public’s dissatisfaction with certain aspects of governance over the past thirty years and pledged to address these issues. 

In a significant announcement, Ramaphosa revealed the formation of a government of national unity. This coalition aims to pursue rapid, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, tackle poverty, safeguard workers’ rights, and build state capacity. “Together, they have resolved to establish a government of national unity to pursue a common programme of fundamental and lasting change,” he said. 

Ramaphosa reiterated the need to create jobs, provide basic necessities, and ensure safety and security for all South Africans. He highlighted the importance of addressing corruption and the misappropriation of public funds. “The people have demanded an end to the theft of public funds and the capture of the state,” he stated. 

The President announced plans to initiate a National Dialogue involving political parties, civil society, labour, and business to address the country’s critical challenges. This dialogue aims to forge a social compact in line with the aspirations of the National Development Plan. 

Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to unite in their diversity and work together towards a better future. He expressed optimism and hope for the rising tide of progress and transformation. “We look to this rising tide with optimism and hope. We must reject every attempt to divide or distract us,” he urged.

In conclusion, President Ramaphosa committed to being a President for all South Africans, defending the Constitution, and working tirelessly to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable. Quoting poet Sandile Dikeni, he said, “On this day, our hands are joined together. We are united. We are full of hope.” 

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