The ANC is ready to host its annual anniversary celebrations in Cape Town despite “draconian measures” imposed by the City of Cape Town, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.
“After a long, tedious process of negotiating the usage of the Cape Town stadium, the contract has been signed which is critical for us to forge ahead with arrangements of hosting our celebrations,” Mantashe told journalists in Cape Town.
The ANC had paid an amount of R2.2-million upfront to use the stadium for its main rally to celebrate the party’s 103 birthday on Saturday.
“There was a condition that we pay an extra R130 000,” said Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who also sits on the organising committee.
The additional payment would be made before the close of business on Monday so the party could set up infrastructure inside the stadium from Tuesday.
Mantashe blasted the city for imposing conditions on how it conducted its celebrations.
These included that the ANC change the design and font on its posters promoting the rally, that there be ticketing access to the stadium, and that people be shuttled to and from the stadium.
“The Western Cape is still an apartheid province when the DA (Democratic Alliance) imposes influx control on us…” said Mantashe.
However, the ANC had conceded to the control measures so the celebrations could go ahead in the province.
Painting Cape Town yellow
The celebrations begin on January 8, the actual birth date of the ANC, when several ANC regions would send delegations to participate in the cutting of the cake.
The ANC plans to paint Cape Town yellow in the days leading up to their 103rd celebrations, according to party Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.
Speaking at a press conference at the ANC provincial offices in the city, Mantashe said they were ready to welcome a total of 52 000 people on Saturday at the Cape Town stadium.
“800 buses, more than 100 taxis and trains have been secured to take people to the event. That’s the amount of people the stadium can take and that’s what we are preparing for.” he said.
“If more people show up and there is overflow, then that will be a positive problem.”
The party will have door to door campaigns, blitz and walkabouts in Cape Town this week and on Thursday, all regions of the province will cut cakes in different ceremonies where members are expected to recommit themselves to the values of the party.
On Friday, the ANC NEC would host a fund-raising gala dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The celebrations would culminate in the rally on Saturday which would be addressed by President Jacob Zuma. – Sapa