South Africa’s parliamentary election has been slated for May 8, according to president Cyril Ramaphosa who was delivering his annual state of the nation address on Thursday.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa sought to strike an optimistic tone and said South Africans were now “much more hopeful” after he took over one year ago from his scandal-tainted predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Zuma, who was notably absent among other former presidents attending the speech, was forced to resign by ANC lawmakers due to mounting graft scandals that are being probed by a judicial commission in Johannesburg.

“Emerging from a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust, we resolved to to cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption and to restore the integrity of our institutions.”

Alleged corruption under Zuma — known as “state capture” — centred around millions of dollars being syphoned off through the government and state agencies awarding fraudulent contracts to favoured companies in return from bribes.

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