President Cyril Ramaphosa has outlined his plans to clean up corruption in the state, restructure government departments, build the economy and follow through on the ANC's promise of land expropriation without compensation.
In his response to a debate on the state of the nation address, Ramaphosa remained stern on tackling social injustices, with specific reference to gender and economic equality.
Here are nine quotes from Ramaphosa's speech that outline his priorities:
"White young people still do better in development indicators. Unemployment among Africans stands at 30 percent and just under seven percent for white people ... That is the reality born out of evidence. White South Africans, particularly men, still dominate at senior levels of the economy. Those who have reversed are back people and we need to keep that in mind as we deal with problems in our country."
Watching President Ramaphosa's comprehensive reply to SONA makes me wonder how the Opposition are going to have any issues left to smack him with.— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) February 20, 2018
He's covered everything from land, Life-Style Audits for himself and the Cabinet, crime, economic growth, corruption.#SONAReply
"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. We need to interrogate the statement that expropriation without compensation on land is incompatible with a growing and flourishing economy ... The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures to redistribute land to black South Africans."
"Notwithstanding the findings of the Farlam Commission, I am determined to play whatever role I can in the process of healing and atonement for what happened in Marikana and in this I am guided by the needs and the wishes of the families of the 34 workers who lost their lives."
Ramaphosa: The Marikana tragedy stands out as the darkest moment in the life of our young democracy. #SonaReply— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) February 20, 2018
"We are developing an overarching state-owned enterprise (SOE) strategy to support the development growth trajectory of our SOEs. We will soon be completing work on a new centralised ownership model that will allow for better strategic alignment, improved coordination and more effective oversight. It is proposed that this include a state-owned company coordinating council which will be chaired by the president, responsible for high level strategic direction.
"A new ownership model will incorporate new methods for funding SOEs which could include a shift toward a greater mix of debt and equity finance. Where circumstances are suitable and where the developmental function of a SOE is not compromised, there may be opportunities to involve strategic equity partners as minority investors in some of our SOEs."
"We agree that the high levels of long term unemployment mean that we must think differently also on an issue like social grants. We are engaging our social partners through NADLEC on a comprehensive social security reform which will among other things enable us to provide a longer and more comprehensive system of unemployment insurance alongside a system of mandatory death and disability social insurance benefits."
It is time that we implement our resolutions on the conduct of lifestyle audits of all people who occupy positions of responsibility, starting with members of the Executive. - President Cyril Ramaphosa #SONAReply— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 20, 2018
On restructuring government departments, he said: "These changes will obviously only happen when we have gone through the review process, gathered the evidence we need to gather, changes of this nature need to be well considered ... they should not be made in haste ... They are not going to happen yesterday. This review, which we expect to take a number of months, will be based on a thorough analysis of the suitability and the costs of the existing configuration. It will involve broad consultation so that the views of a broad range of stakeholders are considered so that South Africans understand the full rationale for the decisions that we are ultimately going to take in this regard."
"On the matter of the composition of the Cabinet, an announcement will be made by the president at the appropriate time."
"It is time that we implement our resolutions on the conduct also on matters of lifestyle audits of all the people who occupy positions of responsibility. That is something I believe we have to do and this will be done starting with the executive of the country. The commissioner of police has also said that the high echelon of the police will also go through lifestyle audits."