/ 7 January 2008

ANC all set to celebrate 96 years

The African National Congress (ANC) will mark its 96th anniversary and deliver its traditional ”January 8” statement during a huge event at Tshwane’s Super Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday.

The ceremony is expected to start at 10am at the 20 000-seater stadium, and will feature musical performances, messages of support from the party’s alliance partners and the traditional ”January 8” address.

This address will be delivered by the party’s newly elected president, Jacob Zuma, to mark the day the party was established, spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said.

The speech usually charts the way forward for the party and is expected to be keenly watched after a tumultuous presidential succession process and in the run-up to the 2009 presidential and general election in South Africa.

The event will be attended by ANC members from various provinces, and ANC national executive committee members and office bearers will take up their seats on stage, Rikhotso said.

The event is also expected to be attended by other invited guests including diplomats, representatives of other liberation movements on the continent, business people and tripartite alliance partners the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party.

There will also be a presentation of awards for structures deemed to have excelled in carrying out the programmes of the party. The Annual Achievement Awards are presented to the best-performing ANC, ANC Women’s League and ANC Youth League branches as well as the best-performing group of ANC local councillors.

The awards were initiated in 2000 and aim to highlight the features of strong branches and councils and to reward best practice within the movement, said Rikhotso. They are named after ANC personalities in recognition of their contribution to the ”struggle for freedom and a better life” and will be announced by Zuma. — Sapa