Former South African leader Nelson Mandela was "responding better to treatment" on Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma told the country's Parliament.
Mandela, 94, has been in serious but stable condition since being rushed to a Pretoria hospital with a recurring lung infection, the president's office has said. On Wednesday, Zuma signaled some optimism.
"I am happy to report that Madiba is responding better to treatment from this morning," Zuma told Parliament ahead of a budget address, using the clan name by which Mandela is widely referred to in South Africa. "We are very happy with the progress that he is now making, following a difficult last few days.
"We appreciate the messages of support from all over the world. ... We urge South Africans and the international community to continue to keep President Mandela and the medical team in their thoughts and prayers."
Earlier Wednesday, government spokesman Mac Maharaj told SAFM radio that the anti-apartheid icon's condition still was serious but stable, and little changed from Tuesday.
Over the weekend, the president's office said Mandela was breathing on his own and his wife was by his side. Mandela's daughter Zenani Dlamini, who is the South African ambassador to Argentina, flew back to South Africa to be with her father.
Zuma visited Mandela late Monday and said he was satisfied with the medical care Mandela was receiving. Mandela's former wife, Winnie, an African National Congress lawmaker, also visited him Monday.
Mandela has been in and out of hospitals in recent years. His history of lung problems dates to when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during the apartheid era, and he has battled respiratory infections over the years.
He has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.
CNN's Pierre Meilhan, Errol Barnett and Kim Norgaard contributed to this report.