Cyril Ramaphosa's 2018 Thuma Mina moments

20 December 2018 - 07:10 By Odwa Mjo
President Cyril Ramaphosa chats to members of the public during a morning walk in Cape Town.
President Cyril Ramaphosa chats to members of the public during a morning walk in Cape Town.
Image: Esa Alexander

Soon after taking the reins as the first citizen of South Africa earlier this year, Cyril Ramaphosa channeled the late Hugh Masekela by adopting the phrase "thuma mina" (send me) as his manifesto. From campaigns to social media banter, Ramaphosa has become synonymous with the phrase.

The official Thuma Mina campaign has seen the president on the ground, going door-to-door in communities across the country to hear people's grievances.

As the national elections draw closer, President Ramaphosa has been rolling up his sleeves to win over the hearts of South Africans. Here are four of the most memorable 'thuma mina' moments from the first year of his presidency.

Ramaphosa's walks

Promoting healthy living is one of the pillars of his Thuma Mina campaign. In November Ramaphosa participated in the 2018 Old Mutual Soweto Marathon, which left many on social media extremely impressed. 

Ramaphosa has participated in several other walks this year, including the 12km Ghandi Walk in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, in April; a lifestyle walk in Durban in September; a morning walk in Soweto in March; and a walk in Cape Town from Gugulethu to Athlone Stadium in February.  

Madiba magic 

In the spirit of Mandela Day, Ramaphosa and his predecessor Jacob Zuma donated 100 bicycles to pupils of two schools in Nelson Mandela's birthplace of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape: the Mandela School of Science and Technology and Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School.

Ramaphosa also opened the Nosekeni Nongaphi Mandela Clinic in Mvezo in honour of Madiba's mother.

President Cyril Ramaphosa hands a bike to Mandela School of Science and Technology pupil Malunga Mputha on July 18.
President Cyril Ramaphosa hands a bike to Mandela School of Science and Technology pupil Malunga Mputha on July 18.
Image: Sino Majangaza

Ramaphosa on jobs 

Another priority for President Ramaphosa is tackling the unemployment rate, which now sits at over 27%. Earlier this year, he partnered with the private sector, labour and civil society to launch the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative, which aims to create 500,000 jobs for young people.

Ramaphosa hosted a Jobs Summit in October that saw various stakeholders from business, government and labour come together to find solutions to the plight of unemployment. One outcome of the summit was a target of 275,000 jobs a year, including a plan to train 50,000 new nurses over eight years. 

Ramaphosa on investment

To revive the South African economy in the post-Zuma era, Ramaphosa announced plans to attract $100-billion in investments over a five-year period. He passed the halfway mark of this target within six months of launching the investment drive.

Ramaphosa set up a special task team, which is travelling across the world in search for investments.

He hosted an investment summit in October, where local and foreign companies made pledges worth $20bn to the South African economy. The drive also attracted investments from China, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.   

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