Ramaphosa confident new social compact can turn SA around

President Cyril Ramaphosa sees himself as a servant leader and is asking ordinary South Africans to also step up to the plate and 'lend a hand'.

President Cyril Ramaphosa replies to the debate on the State of the Nation Address in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa says that he’s confident that a new social compact can be forged to turn the country around and deal with the injustices of the past.

Ramaphosa used his reply to debate on his State of the Nation Address to amplify his call for South Africans to unite behind efforts to revive the economy, create jobs, reduce inequality and deal with the land question.

The president sees himself as a servant leader and is asking ordinary South Africans to also step up to the plate and “lend a hand”.

“The return of the land to the people from whom it was taken, speaks to precisely what we need to do to heal the divisions of the past. Whether we like it or not, that pain persists…”

President Ramaphosa says that plans to speed up land reform using expropriation without compensation won’t involve “smash and grabs”. But he says it has to be done, and should be seen not as a threat, but an opportunity.

“We are all called upon and enjoined to heal the divisions and the pain of the past. And this is a collective task. It is not a task of the ANC alone, it is our task as a nation. It belongs to all of us.”

Ramaphosa says that poverty and inequality will only be defeated by South Africans uniting behind a shared national agenda.

“I am confident that we can move with urgency and purpose to forge a new social compact to revive our economy, to create jobs, reduce inequality and effect fundamental social economic transformation.”