Pretoria — South Africa today marks 18 years of democracy with President Jacob Zuma expected to deliver the keynote address.
The main celebrations, take place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria under the theme "Working Together to Build Unity and Prosperity for All".
The day commemorates the first democratic elections held in the country on 27 April 1994.
In the evening Zuma will confer the 16th National Orders Ceremony, which will take place at the Presidential Guest House.
National Orders are awarded to deserving citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free, democratic and successful nation, united in its diversity.
Countrywide Freedom Day celebrations will also take place today. In the Northern Cape celebrations will take place at the Die Vlei at Postmansburg-Siyanda district, while in the Eastern Cape celebrations will take place at OR Tambo-Bhaziya.
Celebrations in the Free State will take place at Bohlokong in Bethelhem while in the North West the day will be commemorated at Ganyesa Stadium in the Kagisano local municipality.
In Mpumalanga celebrations will be held at Fano Masina stadium in the Emthonjeni-Emakhazeni local municipality. KwaZulu-Natal will mark the day at the Stanger Sports ground in Kwadukuza and in Limpopo celebrations will take place at the Malamulele stadium at the Thulamela municipality.
On Thursday, the National Planning Commission (NPC) launched a national dialogue aimed at the youth on the social media platform Mxit.
The dialogue aims to reach a massive youth audience that does not have easy access to computers and the internet.
"It is time for young people as the new generation to take over the baton from the youth of 1976 and shape the country you desire," Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel said on Thursday via a live chat in Johannesburg.