Zuma commits to serving the nation with integrity

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Union Buildings - South Africa's new president has committed to serving the nation with dedication, commitment, discipline, integrity, hard work and passion.

The skies became a clear blue again, when the country's fourth democratically elected President took his oath, almost signalling a new beginning for the nation, after heavy rains pounded the capital this morning.

In a moving first speech as President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma said he would take up the highest office of the country conscious of the responsibilities that the people of the country had entrusted on him.

"I commit myself to the service of our nation with dedication, commitment, discipline, integrity, hard work and passion. There is a lot to be done.

"The dreams and hopes of all the people of our country must be fulfilled. There is no place for complacency, no place for cynicism, no place for excuses," he said.

Outlining the way forward for government under his administration, President Zuma said everything government did must contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the improvement of the lives of the people.

He said as long as there were South Africans who die from preventable disease; workers who struggle to feed their families; communities without clean water, decent shelter or proper sanitation; women who are subjected to discrimination, exploitation or abuse and children who do not have the means nor the opportunity to receive a decent education, government shall not and will not falter.

To achieve all the goals set out before him, President Zuma said the government and civil society must hold themselves to the highest standards of service, probity and integrity.

"We must build a society that draws on the capabilities, energy and promise of all its people. Fellow South Africans, this is indeed a moment of renewal."

In front of international representatives, President Zuma reiterated gratitude for the sterling contribution of the international community to the struggle for freedom.

He also committed to renewing the struggle to forge a nation that is at peace with itself and the world.

"We recommit ourselves to continue to be an active member of the international community.

"We will continue to use multilateral and bilateral forums and relations to take forward the goals of eradicating global poverty, strengthening peace and security and to promote democracy," said the new president.