Thousands of people have braved the scorching heat in the lawn area at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the annual commemoration of Freedom Day.
The celebration this year is being held under the theme: "Mobilising society towards consolidating our democracy and freedom".
The 2013 event on marks 19-years since the advent of the democratic dispensation in South Africa.
President Jacob Zuma sat in a white tent, next to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu.
Zuma delivered his keynote address just after midday. His speech was preceded by addresses to the crowd by representatives of political parties including the Inkatha Freedom Party, United Democratic Movement and the Democratic Alliance.
Later on, Zuma will hand over national orders to numerous South African citizens and foreign nationals at an event to be held at the nearby Sefako M Makgatho presidential guest house.
Olympic swimming champion Chad le Clos, football legend Kaizer Motaung and Lead SA activist Yusuf Abramjee are on the long list of recipients.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) April 27, 2013
Happy Freedom Day to all of you! I am joining celebrations in Union Buildings and later Presidential orders to honour those exceptional SAns
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) April 27, 2013
— DJ Warras (@Shady_Lurker) April 27, 2013
United States civil rights activist Jesse Jackson is also on the list along with politicians, musicians and scientists. – Sapa