The African National Congress (ANC) in the Northern Cape is preparing itself to host a crowd of 35 000 to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday. This is an increase of 10 000 supporters since the ANC’s Frances Baard estimate of 20 000 as mentioned by its Regional Secretary, Webster Dichaba.
At a media briefing held on Wednesday, Deshi Ngxanga, the ANC’s Provincial Secretary outlined the party’s readiness to host the main event on Saturday, the 107th birthday celebration coupled with the provincial election manifesto launch. He also described the build-up events that will occur prior to the main rally that will be held at Galeshewe stadium. According to Ngxanga, Ramaphosa is “expected to reflect on the achievements and the gains of the democratic dispensation since the dawn of democracy, the event will highlight our plans in relations to socio economic reforms, creation of jobs and furthering of public access to free education which forms the pillar of our progressive policy framework.”
The ANC will have to focus on dismantling the tentacles of corruption in all spheres of government and the private sector if it intends to lure voters of the Northern Cape. Unemployment in the province is at a high of 28% , the exam performance of matriculants is in decline, basic infrastructure seems to be deteriorating and the gap between rich and poor is increasing at an alarming rate. The historic foes of prosperity, i.e. poverty, unemployment and inequality need to be tackled with fresh ideas and practical strategies. The governing party’s manifesto is seeking to address a myriad of historical and contemporary problems. Only the polls will tell in May if the party will be given another chance by the electorate.
Today, golfers with deep pockets mainly business people, will tee off at a Fundraising Golf Tournament which will be held in Magersfontein. The ANC expects more than 100 golfers to participate in the event, which will also be addressed by its on Provincial Chairperson, Dr Zamani Saul at 07:30. The day will be concluded by a Gala Dinner hosted by the Northern Cape ANC, where guests will be able to interact with the President, the Premier, MEC’s and the party’s Provincial Officials. This “interaction” comes at a price, i.e. to sit at the President’s table will be more expensive than to mingle with one of the MEC’s.
On Saturday morning President Ramaphosa will have his health walk, which has become tradition for him whenever he visits a province on party related matters. The “Presidential Health Walk” will be held in Roodepan, from the Flats in Starling Street to the corner of Swallow and Eagle Street. “The ANC remain the only political party that can bring a united, just and prosperous society with good plans for jobs and is changing for the better. We remain committed to unite South Africa and we seek to advance equality, fight corruption and grow the economy,” said Nxganga.
The governing party’s volunteers and leadership have been mobilising members and supporters across the province to attend the event, which is the first provincial manifesto launch in the country. Ramaphosa is expected to also hint at government’s plans for the year including how to tackle the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The economic impact of the event on Kimberley businesses looks promising.
“Hosting of ANC events in Kimberley is always good for business. My food stall will make 5 times more money than on a normal day. Many guesthouses and water suppliers will also do good business, not forgetting the taxis and busses that will the thousands of supporters”, said Legato, a local businesswoman.