'Madiba will be proud': eight apt quotes from Cyril Ramaphosa's speech

23 May 2019 - 17:22 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to put the needs of his people first when he addressed parliament on Wednesday.
Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to put the needs of his people first when he addressed parliament on Wednesday.
Image: Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to put the needs of South Africans first and to work closely with the leaders of opposition parties when he delivered his address in parliament on Wednesday. 

Here are eight powerful quotes from his speech:

We must rise above

"The people of this country expect us to work together, they expect us to collaborate, they also expect us to build consensus and to effect change. They expect us to find solutions, solutions where people might believe that the difficulties are intractable, but they expect us to tackle those difficult issues and find solutions for them."

The house must be in order

"We must deal with each other with honour, with dignity and respect. That is what people expect. They also would like us to respect their wishes. As we debate here, they don't want to see a house that [as you said Malema] could degenerate into chaos."

We're committed 

"As we enter the sixth democratic administration, please be assured of my personal commitment, and the commitment of the incoming executive to fulfil these obligations of seeking consensus, of collaborating, of working together, to find solutions to all the challenges our country faces."

I will serve the people

"My interests in serving our people will not be derived for serving special interests or groups and whoever they may be. You've named them - but whoever they may be, my mandate is derived from the masses of our people." 

I will work with everyone, like Madiba

"Like Madiba did, I will be able to walk with kings, to work with them, queens and captains of industry without losing the common touch of the masses of our people. That I will not do."

The past must be addressed

"We want to live into the future, but we must also remember that the past should not define what should happen in the future. We must address the past, in order for us to plot a way to the future."

It will be tough

"We are going to have to be tough, and to make tough choices as well. We are going to ensure that as we address the needs of our people, we take difficult decisions. And some of those difficult decisions may be tough decisions for certain people, certain interest groups."

Madiba is happy

"I see Madiba smiling for all of us. He is not singling out a certain individual. He is smiling for all of us, as he sees this parliament that he worked so hard to help put together is now a parliament, the sixth one, which will please him immensely."