Pride and excitement at presidential inauguration

Published Jun 20, 2024


Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday addressed 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.

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.

Hundreds of people from across South Africa descended on the south lawn of the Union Buildings to witness the inauguration.

Young and old people were seen beaming excitedly, some singing, dancing and waving the flag high amid a heavy presence of law enforcement agencies.

A group of teenagers from Germiston, in Ekurhuleni, “Qhakaza Mbalenhle” (blossom beautiful flower), were also at the south lawn.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Nicole Sishambisa said they were excited to be at the event and this was their first time at an inauguration.

“We are here to see the president’s inauguration. We will be very happy to see Ramaphosa, it is great to see more South Africans celebrating this historic day,” she said.

A group called Thato One Big Family LGBTIQA+ from Tembisa, represented by Makhosazana Buthelezi, was also seen on the lawn basking in the sun,sitting on the gay pride flag.

“We are from Tembisa and we are proud to be here to support our president being inaugurated. This is a special occasion and we hope that he will work for us as a community. Viva!” said Buthelezi.

Many people attended the event together with their families.

The Mercury