Ramaphosa’s inauguration speech slammed as same old rhetoric

South Africa - Pretoria - 19 June 2024. The Presidential Inauguration at the Union Buildings. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

South Africa - Pretoria - 19 June 2024. The Presidential Inauguration at the Union Buildings. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 19, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech has been slammed by ordinary South Africans as the same old rhetoric with lots of promises without delivery.

Ramaphosa was addressing millions of South African citizens as he took an oath of office to become the president for the second term at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday following his election by the Government of National Unity (GNU) on Friday.

Under the theme “30 years of democracy, partnership and growth”, Ramaphosa yet again spoke of job opportunities, crime prevention and corruption.

“We cannot rest until criminals are off our streets and the drugs are out of our communities, until men no longer perpetrate violence against women and children, until those who steal from the people are held to account.

“We dare not linger, we dare not rest, until we have created jobs for those who need them, until there is enough food on every table, until every person in every town, city, village and farm receives the basic services they need for a decent life.

“We dare not rest until the women of South Africa are free from the social, cultural and economic constraints that hold back their progress,” Ramaphosa said.

He once again called on party leaders and other political parties to work in partnership towards a growing economy, better jobs, safer communities and a government that works for its people.

“The lines drawn by our history, between black and white, between man and woman, between suburbs and townships, between urban and rural, between the wealthy and the poor, remain etched in our landscape.

“We are citizens of one country and yet we occupy different worlds, separated by high walls and great distances… We are divided between those who have jobs and those who do not work,” he said.

However, some citizens who were at the public area of the Union Buildings said they felt Ramaphosa spoke more to his party, the ANC, than addressing the people of South Africa.

“The president has been saying the same thing over and over. You could think he repeated the same speech he read out when delivering the ANC’s January 8 Statement and during their manifesto a few weeks ago,” said Thapelo Molomo, 33, from Mamelodi in Pretoria.

Sibongile Ledwaba, who comes from Mpumalanga, but had come to witness history being made, said she expected more assurances from the president instead of more promises.

“They (ANC) lost the elections and they come out with the same rhetoric during an inauguration speech. It’s disappointing because I’m for the GNU and I think he could have made it more inclusive of other parties,” Ledwaba said.

Ramaphosa enters his second term in South Africa’s 7th administration under a cloud over the Phala Phala scandal that rocked the country in 2021 ahead of the 2022 ANC elective conference where he was elected for the 2nd term, defeating Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Later in 2022, former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo had found that Ramaphosa had a case to answer for in Parliament over the Phala Phala scandal.

However, the matter was dropped after MPs voted against the findings.

The Star