South African President Jacob Zuma.
Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma's birthday wish is to see more progress in the fight against inequality, black economic empowerment, and progress in the fight against poverty.

Zuma turns 75 on Wednesday and will spend the morning consulting with ministers, according to a statement from the Presidency. An ANC celebration rally will take place in Soweto on Wednesday afternoon.

The statement said the President wished to see more progress being made to improve the lives of the poor.

"I would like to see us making more progress in fighting poverty and inequality. We need to make progress in black economic empowerment to promote true economic freedom.

"I also wish to see us winning the battle against racism in our country. We remain committed to building a non-racial society and will continue to work hard to unite our people against racism and all it's manifestations.

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"My wish is also to see more citizens working with the police and government to rid our communities of crime and building safer communities."

The statement also said a special Cabinet meeting had been planned to discuss the current economic situation, after two credit ratings agencies downgraded South Africa to junk status earlier this month.

"Working together we will find solutions," Zuma said.

Zuma's birthday coincides with mass protests, dubbed a National Plan of Action, to increase pressure on the President to resign. Parties including the EFF, Democratic Alliance, United Democratic Movement, Themba Godi’s African People’s Convention and Congress of the People are expected to take part.