Pretoria - The inauguration of President-elect Jacob Zuma marks the beginning of a new circle of delivery, African Nation Congress Treasurer Mathews Phosa said ahead of the ceremony this morning.
Mr Phosa, looking polished in black suit and a red tie, arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria early this morning to take up his seat in the amphitheatre where Mr Zuma will take the oath of office.
He said the day was a call for action to celebrate Mr Zuma. "Today we are giving him a baton to focus on implementation. This is the beginning of a new circle of delivery," said Mr Phosa.
The task at hand was for Mr Zuma to address the expectations of the South African masses who want jobs and housing.
As guests open up their umbrellas to shield themselves from the rain which has started to pour, former Transport Minister, Mac Maharaj described the day's event as a celebration.
"Today is a celebratory day and reaffirmation that democracy is firmly in trend," Mr Maharaj told BuaNews.
He described Mr Zuma as a leader who was in touch with the people at grassroots level. "He is responsive. He is committed to South Africa,"
Among some of the other invited guests are University of South Africa Vice-Chancellor Barney Pityana, former Speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala and Olympic medalist Natalie du Toit.
ANC Youth League President Julius Malema said South Africa would be a different country after Jacob Zuma's inauguration. "The leadership must deliver to the people."
He said following Mr Zuma's inauguration a better life will be provided for the people of SA. "There will be a better life for the poorest of the poor and [also] better things to come."
Speaking about Mr Zuma's character, Mr Malema said the President-elect accepted and welcomed constructive criticism.
Several Heads of State are expected to arrive between 9.30am and 10.30am ahead of the formal ceremony proceedings which begin at 11.00am.