CAPE TOWN, South Africa, — The South African parliament elected, Cyril Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old tycoon as its fifth President on Thursday following the resignation of Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa, a well known businessman has an estimated net worth of over R6.4 billion ($550 million) as of 2017,with 31 properties and previously held notable ownership in companies such as McDonald’s South Africa, chair of the board for MTN and member of the board for Lonmin.
Ramaphosa promised to “continue to improve the lives of our people,” and said he would “work very hard to try to not disappoint the people of South Africa.”
He was Nelson Mandela’s choice for future president. Cyril Ramaphosa, an anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader and businessman, served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018. He was elected President of the African National Congress (ANC) at the ANC National Conference in Nasrec, South of Johannesburg in December 2017. Ramaphosa is also the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, which is responsible for strategic planning for the future of South Africa, with the goal of rallying the nation “around a common set of objectives and priorities to drive development over the longer term”.
As union leader, he led “hard debates” with mining executives that led to “violent strikes,” said Ray Hartley, author of the new biography Ramaphosa, The Man Who Would Be King.
Ramaphosa’s supporters say he’s the master of the long game. They say business was not his passion, and that he always intended to return to politics when the time was right.
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