Cyril Ramaphosa. FILE PHOTO: ANA PHOTO

Johannesburg - The ANC on Thursday welcomed the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new President of South Africa. 

Ramaphosa was elected in Parliament on Thursday by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. 

He takes over to finish off former President Jacob Zuma's term following his resignation on Wednesday night. 

 The ANC said in a statement that the party has full confidence in Ramaphosa to accelerate the mandate of radical economic transformation. 

"This will include giving effect to the ANC resolutions to accelerate land redistribution through amongst other mechanisms, the expropriation of land without compensation, and the fulfilment of our decision to provide fee-free education to children of the working class and the poor. The eradication of poverty, inequality and injustice in our country must shape his legacy as president of South Africa," said the ANC. 

READ MORE: NEWS JUST IN: Cyril Ramaphosa elected as President of South Africa

"As one of the architects of both our world acclaimed Constitution and the transformative National Development Plan (NDP), President Ramaphosa has been part of the men and women who have shaped and defined our aspirations, hopes and vision for our future."

Political opposition parties mostly welcomed Ramaphosa's election, but the EFF decided to walk out before proceedings began in Parliament. 

The party wanted to force through a debate on the motion to dissolve parliament, a motion brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA). 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Ramaphosa had a mammoth task asked ahead of him, and he also reiterated the party's position that the "real issue was not just Zuma, but the entire ANC”. 

Maimane said he will see Ramaphosa in 2019.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), National Freedom Party (NFP) and African Independent Congress (AIC) welcomed Ramaphosa's election, but warned him that they would keep him on his toes. 

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa reminded Ramaphosa that his rise to power was not due to just his party.

"Mr President, your abrupt rise to the highest office in the land is the collective efforts of the relentless struggles of people of South Africa from all walks of life against the then ANC deployed corrupt leader [Zuma]," said Holomisa.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe said Ramaphosa needed "the courage to use the broom to sweep clean", referring to corruption in state institutions.

"Let the fear of God guide you, Mr President...hope is dawning and may the people who are hopeful out there not be disappointed by the honourable Cyril Ramaphosa," Meshoe said.

Political Bureau and ANA