SA President resigns during a televised address late on Wednesday night. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

South African trade unions have reacted positively to the forced resignation of Jacob Zuma as president - something they said was "long overdue".

Under immense pressure from the public and his own party the African National Congress (ANC), which recalled the scandal-ridden president, Zuma resigned at the eleventh hour on Wednesday.

The South African Federation of Trade unions (SAFTU) said that it "warmly welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s resignation... this was long overdue"

SAFTU said Zuma betrayed the working class of this country. "He conned many into believing that he had the working class’s interests in his heart, but he proved through his actions that he is the most self-centered and self-serving leader only concerned about his self-preservation."

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) "also said "welcomes the long-awaited resignation of President Jacob Zuma as State President of the Republic of South Africa".

"We hope the decision taken by President Zuma to resign will accelerate the progress of undoing the plethora of challenges faced by our government, the movement and society at large. The current moment presents us with an opportunity to recoup and reposition our government to be able to prioritise service delivery," said NEHAWU.