Following Jacob Zuma’s resignation on the 14th of February, vice president Cyril Ramaphosa have been elected by the South African lawmakers on Thursday as the country’s new president after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from his own ANC ruling party.
The ANC had told Zuma to step down or face a vote of no-confidence.
In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his party’s decision.
Jacob Zuma’s resignation was followed by a resurgence of The South African currency, the rand, reaching its strongest levels in three years – at 11.6570 rand for $1 in early trading.
Ramaphosa was elected without a vote after being the only candidate nominated in the parliament in Cape Town, chief justice Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers.
He has said his priority is reviving South Africa’s battered economy. But it won’t be easy: Unemployment is currently at almost 30%, a rate which rises to nearly 40% for young people.
Low growth rates and dwindling investor confidence were compounded by two credit agencies downgrading the economy to junk status.
One of the first steps in improving that investor confidence is addressing the persistent claims of corruption at the heart of government.
One opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, walked out of the parliamentary debate. It wants new elections, rather than the ANC deciding on the identity of the new president.