By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to fight corruption in public institutions and woo investors to the country during his first state of the nation address in the parliament on Friday.
‘‘This is the year that we shall turn the tide on corruption in our public institutions,’’ Ramaphosa said.
He said a commission of inquiry recently appointed to investigate cases of alleged influence peddling in government by prominent businessmen would commence soon.
The influential Gupta family, which consists of three brothers, has been accused of influencing former President Jacob Zuma and other officials into advancing their business interests.
Ramaphosa said the outcome of the inquiry would restore confidence in public institutions among South Africans.
‘‘We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion in the private sector with the same intensity we fight it in the public sector,’’ he said.
In the past few years, there have been many cases of corruption reported in state-owned enterprises, many of which were linked to the Gupta family and state officials.
The parliament on Thursday elected Ramaphosa as the country’s new president, replacing 75-year-old Jacob Zuma, who resigned on Wednesday night.
Ramaphosa was Zuma’s deputy and leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Party. The 65 year old is a former trade unionist, anti-apartheid struggle activist and one of South African’s wealthiest businessmen.
He also promised that his government would ensure consistent policies to increase investor confidence in the country.
Experts say Zuma’s leadership allegedly lacked policy certainty as he would often reshuffle his Cabinet, replacing key ministers that created turbulence in the markets.
Ramaphosa also pledged to create jobs for the youth by holding an investment summit three months time aimed at showcasing investment opportunities in the country.