President Buhari Congratulates New South African President Ramaphosa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his first state of the nation address on Friday, saying it's time for South Africans to put discord behind them and that the country will "turn the tide" on corruption in state institutions this year.

He took office on Thursday after former president Jacob Zuma was forced to leave the presidency by the African National Congress, which has long accused him of corruption.

Ramaphosa said his government was committed to "policy certainty and consistency", in contrast to his scandal-plagued predecessor, Jacob Zuma, who was criticized for policy shifts and unpredictable cabinet changes that rocked domestic financial markets and confounded investors.

Ramaphosa, a lead negotiator in the transition from apartheid to democracy in the early 1990s, was elected by jubilant ruling party legislators anxious to shed political limbo and get the leadership of the country back on track.

"The drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks", Ramaphosa said.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s John Steenhuisen says: "We want to see a massive clamp down on corruption and maladministration, and it can't just be words". In addition, he must tackle sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and economic inequality that are among South Africa's most deep-rooted problems.

Police have already arrested eight people in a probe of a dairy project in which state funds earmarked for local farmers allegedly were siphoned off to a company tied to the Gupta family, which denies any wrongdoing.

"We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money and is free from corruption", Ramaphosa said.

The 65-year old newly appointed president served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018.