Ramaphosa was speaking at the Ernst and Young strategic growth forum in Sandton, Johannesburg, last night.
“People want to be well-governed,” said Ramaphosa.
“The level of consciousness of the people of the world is rising.
“People are becoming more discerning and are not prepared to accept shoddy service.”
Turning on the student protests against free increases, Ramaphosa said students were protesting because they want to have a better future.
“What has been made very clear by events over the last few weeks is that the funding of higher education remains a critical problem,” said Ramaphosa.
“We need to ensure that no-one is excluded from higher education because of an inability to pay.
“At the same time, we need to find funding mechanisms that are sustainable and ensure a high quality of education.”
Ramaphosa said the lack of industrial capacity means that many African countries are unable to extract sufficient value from their natural resources.
“They are not able to realise the potential benefits for job creation, improved export earnings and inclusive growth,” he said.
“That is the part of the African story we know well.”
However, Ramaphosa said the African story is changing.
“Africa’s future depends not so much on the rise of commodity prices but on the expansion and development of its human capital,” said Ramaphosa.
“To do business well in Africa today requires more than traditional economic analysis.
“It requires an understanding that Africa is a very diverse continent, with a vast array of different social structures, political systems, economies, products and markets.”
Ramaphosa jokingly said when he was still MTN Group’s chairperson, it was a joy to see many Africans embracing technology. The mobile operator has been fined $5.2 billion by Nigerian regulators.