South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his State of the Nation address here on Thursday (local time) announced that national elections in the country would be held on May 8 this year.
During his speech, the President stated that South Africa has made tremendous improvement in the last one year, since he joined the Office in February 2018, and had begun to recover from "a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust" under the previous government headed by Jacob Zuma, Washington Post reported.
Ramaphosa further told the parliament that in 2019 his government would focus on five key sectors, namely speeding up inclusive growth, improving the education system, improving the lives of his deprived citizens, fighting against corruption and strengthening the state.
Ramaphosa was elected as the new President of South Africa last year after Zuma resigned before a no-confidence motion was to be passed, ending weeks-long power struggle in the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Zuma had led the ANC since 2007 and has been South Africa's president since 2009 till he resigned.
The scandal-hit South African leader faces more than 780 allegations of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal.
Marking the 25th year since the end of white rule in the country, President Ramaphosa said: "whether we have built a society in which all South Africans, equally and without exception, enjoy their inalienable rights to life, liberty and dignity."
Addressing on the issue related to unemployment, crime and corruption in South Africa, President Ramaphosa noted that the findings of a commission of inquiry into corruption are "deeply disturbing, for they reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state."
"Where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently," Ramaphosa added.
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