Soweto gears up for birthday bash
THE ANC hopes to pack Orlando Stadium to the rafters on Sunday when it celebrates its 105th birthday.
About 800 buses have been hired to shuttle supporters to the stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate 40 000 people.
Early this week, ANC head of the organising committee Fikile Mbalula said overflow plans were already in place.
He said those who won’t make it inside Orlando will be sent to a nearby rugby stadium.
The buses are also expected to transport party members from Mpumalanga, Free State and North West.
Transport for people with disabilities has also been organised.
Some people within the party said accreditation for the media had already gone beyond the expected numbers.
“We had spaces for 500 people and now we stand at 700. It has gone beyond what we anticipated,” Nathi Shabangu, a member of the accreditation team, said.
The party is also not risking any security breaches.
There will be a heavy police presence, which will include Joburg metro police and 2 000 additional security marshals.
And while many supporters prepare to converge on Orlando at the weekend, a mini rally was due to be hosted at noon today along the renowned Vilakazi Street in Orlando West. This is one of the build-up activities to Sunday’s celebrations.
Participants from various communities, and their leaders, were due at the event, dubbed “ANC Friday on Vilakazi”. Musicians and cultural activists were expected to celebrate the history of the continent’s oldest liberation movement.
Stalwarts and Struggle icons residing in Soweto were also invited.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s fundraising gala dinner tomorrow at the Sandton Convention Centre is likely to have limited space.
The annual dinner has in the past attracted top South African businessmen and women, including the likes of mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.
Dignitaries from the Southern African Development Community and the Brics bloc are expected to attend.
The SA Weather Service has forecast a partly cloudy day on Sunday, and ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said there were arrangements in place if it rained. The Orlando Stadium gates will open at 7am and proceedings start at 10am.
FRIDGES FULL: Karabo Letlape, a worker at a shebeen in Orlando East, has organised more alcohol ahead of the ANC celebration in Soweto.