Wet start to ANC’s 101 years celebration
The ANC’s 101st anniversary rally got off to a slow start with heavy rain overnight and this morning delaying the arrival of the party faithful.
Several activities around the anniversary rally, including a street parade and an overnight beach party, had to be called off because of the inclement weather.
However, the covered stands at the stadium slowly turned yellow as supporters took advantage of a lull in the rain to begin drying off seats.
Buses from the townships around the city and the province started arriving in greater numbers from around 9am.
There is a massive security presence in an around the stadium for the rally, for which the ANC’s top brass have been mobilising supporters over the past week.
Despite the heavy weather, supporters were buoyant and keen to participate in the party’s big day.
Proceedings started around 11am.
Today’s programme will consists of a welcome by ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson and national treasurer Zweli Mkhize and a series of messages of support before the main address by Zuma.
There will be a series of party awards and music events before President Jacob Zuma’s deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, cuts an ANC birthday cake which will be distributed at old aged homes and orphanages. There will then be a concert to wrap up the day’s events.
In his January 8 statement Zuma is expected to focus on the need to maintain party unity in the wake of the Mangaung conference at which his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, unsuccessfully took him on for the party presidency.
He is also likely to further mobilise supporters around the National Development Plan, his administration’s developmental blueprint till 2030 and the planned infrastructure rollout, identified as a key way for the state to create jobs.