In recent times, our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptation of power and riches… there will be action. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared in his inauguration speech abridged below.
I am humbled by the trust you have bestowed upon me, aware of the challenges our country faces, but also alive to the fact that our people are filled with hope for a better tomorrow.
We gather here on the day that the people of our continent celebrate the unity of Africa. It is a day of friendship, solidarity and cooperation. It is a day on which we reaffirm our common commitment to an Africa that is at peace, that is prosperous and that promises a better existence for its people.
Twenty-five years have passed since that glorious morning on which Nelson Rolihahla Mandela was sworn in as the first President of a democratic South Africa.
In the passage of that time, our land has known both seasons of plenty and times of scarcity. Our people have felt the warm embrace of liberty. They have rejoiced at the affirmation of their essential and equal humanity. They have found shelter and sustenance.
They have found opportunity and purpose. As the shackles of oppression have fallen away, they have felt their horizons widen and their lives improve in a myriad ways.
But they have also known moments of doubt.
They have felt the cold shadow of a past so cruel and iniquitous that it has at times threatened to eclipse the very achievement of their hard-won freedom.
Despite our most earnest efforts, many South Africans still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases that can be treated, many live lives of intolerable deprivation. Too many of our people do not work especially the youth.
In recent times, our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptation of power and riches.
They have seen some of the very institutions of our democracy eroded and resources squandered. The challenges that we face are real. But they are not insurmountable. They can be solved. And we are going to solve them.
In the face of all these challenges our people have remained resolute, resilient, unwavering in their desire for a better South Africa.
Through the irrefutable power of the ballot on 8 May, South Africans declared the dawn of a new era. They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions.
As we give effect to their mandate, we draw comfort from the knowledge that that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us.
Despite our differences, despite a past of conflict and division and bitterness, despite the fierce political contestation among 48 political parties in recent months, we share the same hopes and fears, the same anxieties and aspirations.
We all want our children to have lives that are better than our own, to have work that is dignified and rewarding. We are bound together by our determination that never again shall the adversities of our past be visited on the people of this land.
This is a defining moment for our young nation.
Today is the choice of history.It is a time for us to make the future we yearn for. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny.
South Africans want action and not just words and promises.
And there will be action.
You can read the full speech here