Cyril Ramaphosa has called for redemption and accountability to address government corruption.
He made the remarks in response to a recent report that placed South Africa among the world’s most corrupt nations.
The president also vowed that this would be the last time the country was described as corrupt.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the Business Economic Indaba, where he was in conversation with Business Unity South Africa head Sipho Pityana.
Ramaphosa said systems were in place to get rid of corrupt government officials. He added that these individuals were fighting back against his efforts, but he expressed confidence that the government would be reformed.
This comes after Transparency International gave South Africa a corruption score of 43 (with 0 being no corruption and 100 being total corruption).
The president also said that his focus was on economic transformation that would create jobs and grow industries, pointing to poverty and unemployment as key issues that needed to be addressed.
Ramaphosa has been actively seeking foreign investment since taking office. He has already brought $35.5 billion into the country, with more expected later in the year.
While acknowledging South Africa’s challenges, the president said he was optimistic that the country could bounce back.