South African president fires gun for May 8 election, vows growth
Updated 11:22, 08-Feb-2019
CGTN
01:41

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced general elections would be held on May 8, as the ruling ANC party looks to reverse falling popularity due to weak growth, unemployment, and corruption.

Ramaphosa sought to strike an optimistic tone and said South Africans were now "much more hopeful" after he took over one year ago from his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Delivering the annual State of the Nation Address to parliament, Ramaphosa said that progress had been made tackling corruption and reviving the weak economy.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African Parliament President Baleka Mbete (R) arrive for the opening of parliament ceremony and State of The Nation Address (SONA) in parliament, Cape Town, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African Parliament President Baleka Mbete (R) arrive for the opening of parliament ceremony and State of The Nation Address (SONA) in parliament, Cape Town, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo 

"A year ago, we set out on a path of growth and renewal," Ramaphosa said. "Emerging from a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust, we resolved to break with all that divides us.

"We resolved to cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption and to restore the integrity of our institutions."

He added, "We have had to deal with the effects of state capture on vital public institutions, including our law enforcement agencies, whose integrity and ability to fulfill their mandate had been eroded in recent years."

(Top image: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): AFP