Opposition parties have called on South Africans to organise and mobilise against president Jacob Zuma, saying the country deserves better.
This was among the message from party leaders to thousands of people who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.
The African People's Convention Themba Godi says they gathered because South Africa deserves better.
“Public leadership must have moral authority, integrity and must be accountable.”
The United Democratic Movement’s Bantu Holomisa says those present should be proud of the display of patriotism.
“We’re gathered here to send a message to the ruling party that South Africans are concerned that it is allowing this land of ours to decline under its watch.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Julius Malema told the demonstrators to take the fight home, to continue to mobilise in their communities against President Zuma.
Meanwhile, president Jacob Zuma says he is not moved by people who march against him and call him names, saying he's been through worse.
The president addressed African National Congress (ANC) supporters who gathered in Kliptown Soweto to celebrate his 75th birthday.
Four of the party's top six leaders and the Gauteng ANC leadership did not attend Wednesday’s celebrations.
President Zuma told ANC supporters not to worry when South Africans or opposition parties march against him.
He says he is not moved because he’s been hated and called names before.
“We grew up being called names, people calling us things we are not… they think doing the same today will hurt us, no we are not hurt. We know this, we have been named before.”
He says he has no time to worry about the marches against him and how much people hate him.
“People who get hurt by these things will get white people's illness called stress. I don't know that, we don't have that in Zulu.”
The president has also criticised opposition parties for always running to the courts when they disagree with him or the ANC, saying “that is not democratic”.