President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to work together to bring about the fair and just society that was Nelson Mandela’s dream.

He’s put jobs for young people at the top of a long list of ambitious plans aimed at firing up the economy, rooting out corruption and making the state leaner and more efficient.

Ramaphosa’s warned of tough decisions and difficult conditions in his inaugural State of The Nation Address (Sona).

But he also says that things can be turned around if people only “lend a hand”.

Ramaphosa drew on a memory of Nelson Mandela and the spirit of the late jazz legend Hugh Masekela, saying it’s time to move on from an era of discord, disunity and disillusionment.

“We are now in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination, have started to turn our country around.”

He says whatever their differences South Africans are bound together by common destiny and a shared duty to confront the injustices of the past and the inequalities of the present.

“Now is the time when all of us should lend a hand. Now is the time for each one of us to say South Africa send me.”


At the same time, Ramaphosa says there will be a jobs summit with an investment conference.

“We’ll organise an investment conference in the next three months, targeting both domestic and international investors to market the compelling investment opportunities to be found in our country.”

WATCH: Job creation at centre of 2018 agenda

The president also says the government will act swiftly against corruption.

“We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion as well as in the private sector with the same purpose and intensity that we want to fight it in the public sector.”

Ramaphosa says he will also appoint a Commission of Inquiry into South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the NPA will receive attention.

“At the request of the Minister of Finance [Malusi Gigaba] I will 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 reach its revenue target.

“We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the NPA to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered without any fear or prejudice.”