Following the resignation of South African president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday, Cyril Ramaphosa is set to become the next leader of the country that is grappling with issues like shortage of drinking water, unemployment, HIV infection and widespread poverty.

As literacy rate in South Africa remains at an all-time low and millions are without healthcare or proper sanitation, the people will be looking to Ramaphosa to bring drastic reformation across the nation, especially as the country reels with the untimely exit of Zuma, following a number of corruption allegations, the Guardian reported.

Here are some facts about the new president of South Africa:

1. Ramaphosa was born Nov. 17, 1952, in Soweto Township, west of Johannesburg – a place that was fast transforming into a hub of anti-apartheid movement.

2. He went on to study law in 1970s and also took up student activism at the time, for which he was arrested in 1974 and spent 11 months in solitary confinement, France 24 reported.

3. As a legal way of protesting against the white-minority regime in his country, he became involved with trade union and founded the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1982. NUM soon became immensely popular and led a number of mine strikes in 1987.

Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President of South Africa, and newly elected African National Congress (ANC) President, Cyril Ramaphosa looks on during the Pre-World Economic Forum (WEF) Breakfast, which takes place ahead of the WEF Annual meetings in Davos, at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton district of Johannesburg, Jan. 18, 2018. Getty Images/ GULSHAN KHAN

4. In spite of being one of the key members of the taskforce that oversaw South Africa’s transition into democracy, following the release of the country’s former president Nelson Mandela from a 27-year prison sentence, he failed to win the presidential race in 1999.

5. After his presidential defeat, Ramaphosa turned his focus on business and soon became one of the wealthiest people in his country. With a net worth of $450 million, he was ranked 42nd in Forbes list of Africa's wealthiest people in 2015.

6. In 2012, Ramaphosa’s popularity among the masses took a big hit when 34 mine workers, who were holding strikes at Marikana platinum mine, operated by London-listed Lonmin – a company Ramaphosa was the non-executive director of – were killed by the police.

7. Despite the scandal and staying away from politics, he was elected as a member of African National Congress in 2012 and became the deputy president of South Africa in 2014.

8. His was a balancing act as the deputy president as he had to work alongside Zuma – who was beginning to emerge as an incompetent leader – as well as deliver carefully worded criticism against his predecessor in front of the public.

9. The fact that Ramaphosa was chosen to succeed Zuma as the president is seen by many as his opportunity to deliver on campaign promises, where he claimed he would usher in economic reform, boost growth and create jobs for the masses.

"Our ability to overcome these challenges has been undermined over the last decade by a failure of leadership and misguided priorities," he said in a rally speech. "For the first time since the advent of democracy, there is a real chance that the transformation of our country may suffer significant reverses."

10. Ramaphosa’s biographer Ray Hartley wrote in the book “The Man Who Would Be King” that although no one might be better suited for the job of leading the country, he had doubts about how far Ramaphosa can actually bring about the much-promised reform.

"Ramaphosa has no association with any of the corruption scandals that have plagued South Africa," wrote Hartley. "But the years he spent at Zuma's side, playing the 'inside game' suggest he is more comfortable as a powerful insider than as a radical reformer."

11. In 2017, Ramaphosa was accused of having extramarital affairs with multiple women, which he initially denied. Eventually he confessed he had an affair, and added he already disclosed this to his second wife Tshepo Motsepe, with whom he has four children.