Ephraim `Shakes` Mashaba was named coach of South Africa Saturday in succession to sacked Gordon Igesund.
National youth coach Mashaba was not present at the announcement in Soweto as he is in Mali with the under-20 squad.
The 63-year-old former Orlando Pirates defender is a former caretaker coach and coach of Bafana Bafana (The Boys).
Mashaba was the unanimous choice of the national football association executive committee ahead of Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, who was favoured to take over the struggling national team.
South Africa are ranked 14 in Africa and 66 in the world and poor tournament results cost Igesund his job.
Hosts South Africa were eliminated in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after losing a penalty shootout against Mali.
They also failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, surprisingly finishing second behind lowest seeds Ethiopia in a mini-league.