Cyril Ramaphosa Sworn In for 2nd Term With A Historic Twist

South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as President after being re-elected for a second term
South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as President after being re-elected for a second term

South Africa is embarking on an unprecedented political experiment as it enters a new era of coalition governance. Despite his African National Congress (ANC) failing to secure a parliamentary majority in last month’s election, Cyril Ramaphosa will begin a second term as president through a landmark power-sharing deal with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller parties.

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This first-ever coalition government in South Africa’s 30-year democratic history represents a seismic shift in the nation’s politics. The tenuous alliance of ideological rivals is poised to redefine the country’s political landscape and could profoundly impact its future trajectory. As Mr. Ramaphosa takes the reins of this fragile coalition, all eyes are on whether he can forge a united front to confront South Africa’s myriad social and economic challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in for a second term as South African President
  • The ANC lost its parliamentary majority for the first time, leading to a coalition government
  • The inclusion of the pro-business DA party signals a move towards structural reforms
  • Ramaphosa faces challenges from ideological differences and opposition from breakaway parties
  • Reviving the economy, tackling corruption, and addressing inequality are key priorities

Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected Despite ANC’s Loss of Majority

In a pivotal change for South African politics, the African National Congress (ANC) recently lost its parliamentary majority. This is the first time such a shift has occurred since the country’s apartheid era ended in 1994. Despite this loss, Cyril Ramaphosa secured a second term as president. He did so by forming a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and various smaller parties.

The recent election saw the ANC, who had been in power for almost thirty years, earning only 40% of the vote. This represented a significant 17-point drop from previous elections. Consequently, the party lost 70 parliamentary seats. The opposition Democratic Alliance emerged as the second-largest entity, with 22% of the vote.

Although it lost its parliamentary majority, the ANC’s collaboration with the DA and other groups helped Ramaphosa secure another term as president. Together, these parties and the smaller allies now hold a combined 68% of the parliamentary seats. This marks a significant move towards a more cooperative and centralist approach to governing South Africa.

The Coalition Government: A Shift Towards the Political Center

The formation of the coalition government is a key realignment in South African politics. Elements like the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chose not to join this coalition. Their decision signifies a potential departure from the ANC’s more radical components. Instead, the inclusion of the business-oriented DA indicates a more moderate, pro-growth policy trajectory.

The new government is poised to focus on essential tasks such as infrastructure repair, delivering water and power, and job creation. This shift from the ANC’s historic socialist slant to a pragmatic, central stance showcases evolving political trends in South Africa.

PartyVote ShareSeats in Parliament
African National Congress (ANC)40%259
Democratic Alliance (DA)22%141
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)15%58
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)5%30
Other Parties18%112

Moreover, the emergence of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), a party led by former President Jacob Zuma, signifies a new chapter. This party secured 15% of the vote and 58 parliamentary seats. However, it notably skipped the inauguration ceremony and the first parliamentary session.

The Coalition Government: A Shift Towards the Political Center

The coalition government under President Cyril Ramaphosa marks a noteworthy move. It steers South Africa towards the political center. This choice was made after left-wing and populist groups, like the EFF led by Julius Malema, declined to participate.

Including the DA, known for its pro-business stance, shows a focus on reform and business-friendly decisions. Their plan includes upgrading infrastructure, offering essential services, and bolstering job growth.

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Losing its parliamentary majority was a historical first for the ANC. It triggered the need for a coalition to lead the government. With this, the balance of political power has shifted, granting more influence to opposition groups.

Challenges lie ahead as the coalition partners navigate their differences. Yet, their unity signifies a remarkable turn in the country’s political scene. It offers a momentous chance for South Africa to stride towards stability and prosperity.

Challenges Facing the New Government

Cyril Ramaphosa’s second term as president heralds several notable challenges for South Africa. The coalition between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) faces significant hurdles. These include dealing with their differing ideologies and the opposition from breakaway parties.

Ideological Differences Between Coalition Partners

The ANC is known for its left-leaning stance, whereas the DA leans more towards pro-business policies. The former supports Black economic empowerment, critiqued by the latter for not adequately addressing racial inequalities. Balancing these opposing views is critical for the new government’s success.

Opposition from Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party

The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, a faction led by former President Jacob Zuma, has rejected the government’s formation. They see it as a move that prioritizes markets over the people. Their stance adds another layer of complication for the coalition’s agenda.

To achieve their goals, the Ramaphosa-led coalition must effectively address these challenges. They have to manage ideological gaps and the resistance from other political groups. This effort is crucial for their stability and the successful execution of their economic strategies

“The new government includes coalition partners like the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party, the anti-immigration Patriotic Alliance, and the centre-left GOOD party.”

Engaging directly with these critical issues is necessary for the coalition government as they move forward. They must overcome these obstacles to make a positive impact on South Africans’ lives.

Ramaphosa Heralds a New Era of Unity in Inaugural Address

In his inaugural address, President Cyril Ramaphosa struck a tone of reconciliation and pragmatism, calling for South Africa’s ideologically opposed political parties to unite in a government of national unity to confront the country’s pressing challenges.

The 90 year old veteran leader acknowledged the fragmented results of last month’s election that denied his African National Congress (ANC) a majority. He warned that failure to overcome “bickering” and self-centered interests could lead to instability in a nation still grappling with severe inequality three decades after the end of apartheid.

“The people’s voice has instructed us to put aside sectarian interests,” Ramaphosa said, his voice rising over applause from the crowd gathered at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. “The grave and pressing issues we face as a nation cannot be postponed.”

In a striking acknowledgment of his party’s shortcomings after nearly 30 years in power, Ramaphosa vowed that the new government of national unity would urgently work to improve basic services and living conditions for millions of South Africans still mired in poverty.

He said the top objectives would be promoting sustainable economic development, alleviating poverty, upholding workers’ rights, creating jobs, and combating crime and violence against women. Ramaphosa depicted the period of cooperation under the coalition government as a pivotal juncture for the country’s advancement.

“We are at a critical moment in the life of our nation,” he declared. “The path ahead is not an easy one, but it is one that we must traverse with courage, determination and a resolute commitment to the common good.”

The president stressed the crucial importance of national unity and collaboration across all political factions. He marked the establishment of the government of national unity as a major development, pushing for the convergence on the nation’s common aspirations rather than self-centered goals.

Ramaphosa vowed the government would focus on providing adequate food, housing, water, electricity, education, healthcare and other essentials that have been severely lacking, especially in the townships that ring major cities. He affirmed that the governing bodies are dedicated to making investments in these crucial sectors, as well as in the fight against crime and corruption, to strengthen the nation’s social fabric.

His comments underscored the daunting challenges ahead as he tries to cobble together a multi-party cabinet from the discordant coalition that emerged from the May 8 elections. While his African National Congress remained the largest single party, its share of the parliamentary vote fell to a new low amid frustrations over a stagnant economy, high unemployment, crippling power cuts and rampant graft during former President Jacob Zuma’s tainted rule.

By underlining the imperative for unity, stability and a refocused approach to the nation’s socioeconomic ills, President. Ramaphosa’s speech at the commencement of his second term set a key precedent. The initiation of the government of national unity indicates a momentous political shift, positioning South Africa on a trajectory toward a future that is more equitable and prosperous — if the ideological divisions can be overcome.

The Road Ahead: Reviving South Africa’s Economy

As Cyril Ramaphosa starts his second presidential term in South Africa, attention shifts to the arduous task of boosting the nation’s economy. The freshly formed coalition government, a mix of the ANC and smaller groups, confronts serious hurdles. These include rampant unemployment, frequent power outages, and dealing with corruption claims.

Tackling Unemployment, Power Cuts, and Corruption

South Africa’s current unemployment rate is an alarming 33 percent. This highlights the desperate need for economic adjustment and job creation programs. The Ramaphosa administration is committed to launching targeted policies. These aim to invigorate growth and create job opportunities, especially for the young.

In addition to the job crisis, the government faces the ongoing challenge of power cuts. Solving the energy problem involves upgrading infrastructure, exploring new energy sources, and handling the corruption and mismanagement roots. All these factors have worsened the issue.

Combatting corruption is a vital part of the plan to revive the economy. Ramaphosa pledges to eliminate the corruption that has drained resources meant for crucial public services and projects. Rebuild trust in the government, alongside ensuring funds are accurately used, are key steps for economic fundament rejuvenation.

Implementing Structural Reforms and Fiscal Policies

The coalition aims to tackle these major challenges by focusing on structural reforms and fiscal mandates. The agenda includes economic growth and investment stimulating activities. This could involve processes like privatization, regulatory adjustments, and simplifying business processes to attract more investments.

On the financial side, the government will work towards better revenue generation, lowering debt, and reallocating resources to key sectors. Strategic financial management is their path to achieving prolonged economic sustainability and welfare. This approach sets the stage for economic stability and prosperity in the long run.

Ramaphosa and his administration are ready for this demanding strategy. Achieving consensus and addressing the diverse needs within the coalition presents a pivotal test. However, it’s crucial for South Africa’s future prosperity.


Even though the ANC lost its parliamentary majority, a coalition government has emerged. The formation of this government signifies a broader, cross-spectrum approach. But, navigating forward poses several challenges. The coalition’s partners might clash over ideologies. There’s also potential resistance from Zuma’s party, the uMkhonto weSizwe.

Unity and stability, as emphasized by Ramaphosa, are crucial. They’re seen as necessary to combat the deep-seated inequalities in South Africa. His second term goals involve jumpstarting the economy, addressing unemployment and corruption, and mitigating issues like power cuts.

The evolving political terrain offers both promise and hardships. The outcome will heavily dictate South Africa’s future course towards stability, economic growth, and social equality.


What is the significance of Cyril Ramaphosa’s re-election as President of South Africa?

Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as President of South Africa for a second term. This comes despite his party, the African National Congress (ANC), not winning a majority in the recent election. It shows a major shift in the country’s politics.~Now, Ramaphosa leads a coalition government, being supported by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller parties. This move positions the government closer to the center.

What were the results of the recent parliamentary election in South Africa?

The recent election in South Africa saw a historic change. The ANC, ruling since the end of apartheid, did not win a majority for the first time. They received 40% of the vote, down by 17 points, and lost 70 parliamentary seats. The Democratic Alliance (DA) took the second spot with 22% of the vote.

How did Ramaphosa secure his re-election as president?

Ramaphosa secured his re-election through a coalition. The Democratic Alliance (DA) and three smaller parties aligned with him. In contrast, left-wing and populist ANC factions chose not to join. This move shifts the government’s direction closer to the middle.

What are the key challenges facing the new coalition government?

The new government, due to its coalition nature, faces hurdles like differing ideologies among partners. It also contends with challenges from the MK party, founded by Jacob Zuma. The MK party has voiced opposition, describing the government as an “unholy alliance.”

What were the key points in Ramaphosa’s inaugural address?

In his inauguration speech, Ramaphosa called for unity, stressing the abandonment of self-interest. He warned that failing to combat deep inequalities could lead to national instability. Recognizing deep fractures and divisions in society, he highlighted the imperative of national unity.

What are the main focus areas for the new coalition government?

The new government places a high focus on economic reforms and addressing major issues like power shortages and crime. It aims to fight corruption effectively. This is crucial for the country’s economic recovery and restoring public trust.

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