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Hopeful newly-elected South African President Cyril
Ramaphosa pledging to end Corruption and Poverty

by Zodidi Mhlana JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- Newly-elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday said he is committed to tackling serious challenges the country faced in his inauguration ceremony in Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

He made the commitment after being sworn in as South Africa’s fifth president since 1994. Ramaphosa took the oath of office before the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng while watched by over 30,000 people.

In a speech delivered after he was inaugurated, Ramaphosa pledged to root out corruption and to address socio-economic problems plaguing South Africa.

"Our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptations of power and riches. The challenges we face are real, but they are not insurmountable," he said.

Ramaphosa also declared a war on poverty: "Despite our earnest efforts, many in South Africa still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases that can be treated, many live lives of intolerable deprivation. Let’s declare that our shared determination that we shall end poverty in South Africa within a generation," he promised.

On the African continent, Ramaphosa said he would work with his counterparts.

"We will work with the rest of the continent to realize the AU’s vision of Agenda 2063, to forge a free trade area that stretches from Cape Town to Cairo, bringing growth and opportunity to all African countries," he said.

  South African President Ramaphosa pledging to end Corruption | Coastweek

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- Newly-elected South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife attend his inauguration ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa. President Ramaphosa on Saturday said he is committed to tackling serious challenges the country faced in his inauguration ceremony in Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria. XINHUA PHOTO - YESHIEL PANCHIA
The President also assessed his battalion, planes, Air Force jets and planes.

Numerous heads of state from across the African continent attended Ramaphosa’s inauguration including those of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, Togo, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ramaphosa is expected to announce his new trimmer cabinet on Sunday or Monday. It remains unclear as to who would become his deputy president.


South Africa president urged to slash bloated cabinet

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --  By slashing the bloated cabinet to 15 ministries, the country would save almost five billion rand (about 347 million U.S. dollars) each year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said.

As the country’s economy is stagnant, and millions of South Africans do not have jobs, a leaner, efficient and service-oriented government can focus its efforts on delivering services and creating an environment for economic growth and job creation, DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said.

The DA issued the statement after Ramaphosa’s office said on Sunday that the president, who was inaugurated on May 25, would announce his much-anticipated cabinet later this week.

Ramaphosa had been widely expected to announce his cabinet on Monday but he postponed the announcement pending the swearing in of would-be Deputy President David Mabuza as a Member of Parliament (MP) of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Mabuza was not sworn in with other MPs on May 22.

He requested the postponement of his swearing in until allegations against him had been dealt with within the ANC’s Integrity Commission.

Mabuza was named in a report by the commission, in which he is alleged to have prejudiced the integrity of the party and brought the organization into disrepute.

Before becoming deputy president last year, Mabuza was premier of Mpumalanga Province which is allegedly one of the most corrupt provinces in the country.

Mabuza said he wanted his name cleared before being sworn in as an MP.

The continued uncertainty over the makeup of the new cabinet does not bode well for investor confidence and the rand has already been affected by the uncertainty surrounding the overdue announcement, said Malatsi.

Before being inaugurated, Ramaphosa had committed himself to rooting out corruption and to appointing a leaner and more efficient cabinet.

"The President will have the full support of the Democratic Alliance if he appoints ministers who are competent, effective and beyond reproach," Malatsi said.

The country needs women and men in the cabinet who realize that holding the title of "Minister" is a call to serve all the people of South Africa, said Malatsi.

Ramaphosa, who took over his predecessor Jacob Zuma in February last year when the latter resigned over corruption allegations, inherited from Zuma a bloated cabinet which is by far one of the biggest in the world, with 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers, prompting repeated calls for Ramaphosa to downsize the cabinet.

South Africa expands marine protection areas

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa has expanded its marine protection areas (MPAs) to provide protection to 90 percent of marine habitat types, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said on Tuesday.

The move, which is in line with South Africa’s international commitments, strives to support multiple objectives for biodiversity in alignment with ocean economy goals, the DEA said.

This new network of 20 MPAs will contribute to fisheries sustainability, advance marine ecotourism and help maintain resilience in ecosystems that are under stress from climate change, DEA spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said.

The expansion has increased South Africa’s marine ecosystem area under protection in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone from the current 0.4 percent to 5.4 percent.

The new MPAs represent seamounts, submarine canyons, volcanic pinnacles, and a variety of ecosystem types on the shelf, continental margin and abyss in both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, according to the DEA.

They also provide the first protection for several threatened and fragile ecosystem types, including threatened mud, gravel, and shelf edge habitats and sensitive deep water scleractinian corals, according to the DEA.

South Africa’s ocean space, which is one of the most varied in the world, is highly productive with rich biodiversity providing for living and non-living resources that contribute significantly to the country’s economy and to job creation.

The MPAs contribute to growing South Africa’s marine eco-tourism sector by providing undisturbed natural habitat for whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, turtles and seabirds for international and domestic tourists to experience, Nqayi said.

An adequate network of MPAs also provide the basis for ongoing resilience to the impact of climate change, he said.

The new MPA network is a product of extensive consultation and negotiation with all stakeholders, which sought to ensure that the network is aligned with relevant policies and priorities for fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, as well as marine mining and oil exploration, while also protecting ecologically important areas, said Nqayi.


South Africa opposition pledges to support government in growing economy

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Saturday pledged to work with the government to improve the country’s economy and better the lives of the people.

The DA leader Mmusi Maimane congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa who was sworn in as the President of South Africa. Maimane called on the President to consider reducing economic cluster to three key ministries to enable more coherent economic policy.

"If the President does what is in the interest of South Africa and is genuine about economic reform, he will have the full support of the DA," said Maimane.

He called on the finance minister to set a debt ceiling.

Maimane also called on the public enterprises minister to privatize non-strategic state owned enterprises.

The opposition also called for restructuring of the power utility Eskom to enable a private-sector-led transition to cheaper, cleaner energy sources.

Maimane said, "The minister must be commuted to visa reform to boost tourism and investment so it is easier for critical skills and foreign currency to enter South Africa."

The opposition also called for the reduction of the Cabinet Ministers by merging some ministries.


South African Chief Justice swears in Cyril Ramaphosa as President



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