President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered his inaugural state of the nation address (Sona) as head of state, one which took a stern stance on land reform, economic transformation, improving various sectors and fighting corruption.
In his one-and-a-half-hour-long speech, which went uninterrupted (aside from applause), Ramaphosa announced that a process to review the configuration, number and size of national government departments will be initiated.
Here are nine of the top, and noteworthy, quotes from his speech:
"It is critical that the structure and size of the state are optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources...We will therefore initiate a process to review the configuration, number and size of national government departments."
Now is the time to lend a hand.— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 16, 2018
Now is the time for each of us to say 'send me'. Now is the time for all of us to work together, in honour of Nelson Mandela, to build a new, better South Africa for all. - President @CyrilRamaphosa #SONA2018
"We are building a country where a person's prospects are determined by their own initiative and hard work, and not by the colour of their skin, place of birth, gender, language or income of their parents...We should honour Madiba by putting behind us the era of discord, disunity and disillusionment."
"Tough decisions have to be made to close our fiscal gap, stabilise our debt and restore our state-owned enterprises to health...Through measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists' programme, we are developing a new generation of black and women producers that are able to build enterprises of significant scale and capability."
"Next month, we will launch the Youth Employment Service initiative, which will place unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the economy. Together with our partners in business, we have agreed to create a million such internships in the next three years."
Our country has entered a period of change. While change can produce uncertainty, even anxiety, it also offers great opportunities for renewal and revitalisation, and for progress. - President @CyrilRamaphosa#SONA2018— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 16, 2018
"Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution (land redistribution). We make a special call to financial institutions to be our partners in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment will be needed in this sector."
"These SOEs cannot borrow their way out of their financial difficulties, and we will therefore undertake a process of consultation with all stakeholders to review the funding model of SOEs and other measures. We will change the way that boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these vital positions. We will remove board members from any role in procurement and work with the Auditor-General to strengthen external audit processes."
"We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion in the private sector with the same purpose and intensity. We must remember that every time someone receives a bribe there is someone who is prepared to pay it...This requires that we strengthen law enforcement institutions and that we shield them from external interference or manipulation."
#SONA2018 We have dedicated this year to his memory and we will devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society. - President @CyrilRamaphosa— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 16, 2018
"We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered."
"We will also take steps to stabilise and strengthen vital institutions like the South African Revenue Service...I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS, to ensure that we restore the credibility of the Service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets."