We shall end poverty within a generation: Promises Ramaphosa made to SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as president at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane today where he took his oath of office.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gives his inauguration speech at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 25 May 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - In his first address as the fifth president of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa made ambitious promises to solve some of the most pressing problems facing the country, including joblessness and poverty.

Ramaphosa was sworn in as president at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane today where he took his oath of office during his inauguration, to the cheers of those in the stadium.

He promised to uphold the constitution.

Ramaphosa highlighted poverty as an issue to be dealt with now.

"Today let us declare before the esteemed witnesses gathered here that such a South Africa is indeed possible. Let us declare our shared determination that we shall end poverty in South Africa within a generation."

With a depressed economy, 10 million unemployed people and the country facing a crime and corruption crises, Ramaphosa has his job cut out, however, he said a brighter day is rising upon South Africa promising that in five years time the problems of the day will be a thing of the past.

Ramaphosa conceded that the hopes of South Africans had been betrayed in the past as leaders lost sight of their mandates, but unlike his predecessors, he has set himself a target, saying citizens would enjoy a better quality of life by the time South Africa celebrates 50 years of democracy.

He pledged that he will serve and work with South Africans to build a country that all want and deserve.


The president said what happens now will define South Africa's future: "This is a defining moment for a young nation like ours. Today must be seen as a choice of history. It is the time for us to make the future that we yearn for. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny as a people."


There were mixed reactions from opposition parties to President Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration speech.

The Democratic Alliance said its time for Ramaphosa to stop saying the right words and to start acting.

Mmusi Maimane says the promises look good on paper, but he needs to implement them.

"Creating an economy that creates work for our people."

The Inkatha Freedom Party's Mkhuleko Hlengwa said there need to be youth programmes to create jobs, while the African Christian Democratic Party's Kenneth Meshoe says they will be watching the president.

One thing all opposition parties seem to agree on is supporting the president's message of hope.