Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa's president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday after Jacob Zuma reluctantly resigned on orders from his party.
Ramaphosa, 65, was elected unopposed as Zuma's permanent successor by Parliament.
His nomination was seconded by veteran ANC MP Joan Fubbs, who said: "He is a selfless, disciplined leader and he knows he is here to serve the people of South Africa."
Ramaphosa rose and accepted the nomination with a smile and a loud ''yes, I do".
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng then declared Ramaphosa president, prompting singing and dancing in the ANC benches.
In his first address as head of State shortly after his election in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa said he will regularly account to Parliament and plans to meet with opposition parties soon to discuss how they could work together.
"I will do all this as a servant of our people," said Ramaphosa, adding he will exercise his duties as president "with humility, faithfulness and dignity".
Opposition MPs opted not to put forward a candidate in the president elections, but instead to call for Parliament to be dissolved and the country hold fresh elections.
The Economic Freedom Fighters argued that Ramaphosa was tainted by his role in arguing for police action ahead of the shooting of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012.
The party left the chamber in protest ahead of his nomination.
Reuters and ANA