President Jacob Zuma's birthday wish is to see a better South Africa, his office said on Friday.
"I want to see every child in school getting a good education. I want to see all South Africans having electricity, water, sanitation, good health and generally a better life," Zuma was quoted as saying.
The presidency extended good wishes to him on his 71st birthday.
Zuma was set to spend the day in Botswana, where he was attending the Southern African Customs Union summit.
"He is with, among others, the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, who also celebrates his birthday today, April 12," the presidency said.
Zuma was grateful to have lived to see this age.
"Each year is a blessing and I cherish it," he said. "I am fortunate to have lived until the age of 71. I am fortunate and privileged to have seen the dawn of freedom and to see South Africa changing for the better."
Zuma said he was happy and honoured to have been able to contribute to building a better South Africa.