gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in to lead a white minority led government – The Zimbabwe Mail

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in to lead a white minority led government

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PRETORIA,- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Wednesday for a second term, marking a significant shift in the nation’s political landscape. For the first time in 30 years of democracy, the African National Congress (ANC) will share power with other parties after losing its majority.

The ANC, once an unbeatable force since it rose to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994, has seen its dominance wane after years of economic and social decline. The May 29 parliamentary election resulted in no party securing a majority, leading Ramaphosa to head a government of national unity with five other parties, including the ANC’s main rival, the pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA).

The inclusion of the DA has been welcomed by investors who favor the party’s focus on structural reforms and prudent fiscal policies to boost growth. However, analysts warn that the sharp ideological differences between the coalition parties could lead to instability in the government.

One contentious issue is the National Health Insurance bill that Ramaphosa signed into law just before the election. The DA has criticized the bill, arguing that it could further strain an already struggling health system. The fate of this law under the new coalition government remains uncertain.

Another point of contention is the ANC’s flagship Black economic empowerment program, which the DA advocates scrapping, arguing it has been ineffective. This topic is particularly sensitive in a nation still grappling with vast inequalities rooted in its apartheid past.

Inauguration Ceremony

Ramaphosa’s inauguration ceremony took place outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, attended by African heads of state and dignitaries from countries including Cuba, a long-time ally of the ANC. The event was marked by military pomp and inter-faith prayers from Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and traditional African religious leaders, reflecting South Africa’s diverse society.

The audience cheered as military helicopters flew past, trailing South African flags in the bright sunshine.

Future Government

The make-up of Ramaphosa’s new government has yet to be announced and will be the result of negotiations with the coalition partners. “The president does not want the country to go through a prolonged period of uncertainty,” said his spokesman Vincent Magwenya, indicating that consultations would continue late into Wednesday.

In the recent election, the ANC remained the largest party with 159 seats out of 400 in the National Assembly but lost millions of votes compared to the previous election in 2019. The DA maintained its vote share, securing 87 seats.

The ANC’s loss of support has been attributed to high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, rampant crime, rolling power cuts, and corruption within the party ranks.

South Africans now await the announcement of Ramaphosa’s new government, hopeful for stability and progress under the newly formed coalition.