Pretoria - The performance of the state will need to improve, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.
"[We will] eradicate corruption and inefficiency in the public service," he said after taking his oath of office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
"We will promote productivity."
He said there would be consequences where there was a failure to deliver services to the people of the country.
There was a lot of work to do and everyone needed to work together.
"We need the backing of a united and cohesive nation behind us as we move South Africa forward," Zuma said.
Zuma, who would serve his second term as president, said there would be nation building programmes as many citizens still beared emotional scars from apartheid.
"National healing and reconciliation processes need to continue. We will work together," he said.
Zuma said South Africa would also continue to play its role on the African continent and abroad.
Again he expressed gratitude as he accepted his mandate as president.
"We do not take this confidence bestowed on upon us lightly. We are truly humbled... The road ahead is long and demanding," said Zuma.
"The challenges... may seem insurmountable but we are determined to succeed."
He said the country must succeed in honour of former president Nelson Mandela.