Party colours fly high ahead of the big bash

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

PREPA­RA­TIONS are in full swing for the ANC’s 105th an­niver­sary at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto on Sunday.

Restau­rants and busi­nesses in the town­ship are scram­bling to fi­nalise prepa­ra­tions as about 800 buses and shut­tles are ex­pected to trans­port peo­ple to the sta­dium, with a heavy in­flux of vis­i­tors from three neigh­bour­ing prov­inces – North West‚ Free State and Mpumalanga.

The owner of a store close to Or­lando Sta­dium said he was cau­tiously in­creas­ing his stock be­cause he was un­cer­tain if the turnout would be as large as ex­pected.

“We in­creased our stock more than nor­mal be­cause we are ex­pect­ing a mas­sive num­ber of peo­ple for the Or­lando (cel­e­bra­tion),” said the shopowner.

“But we are scep­ti­cal of the turnout be­cause we are aware that the ANC has lost a lot of sup­port in re­cent years. They lost Joburg to the DA.”

The store owner said he makes a profit mainly from sell­ing cig­a­rettes and cooldrinks.

“We made a lot of money when the EFF had their man­i­festo launch, and those peo­ple bought a lot of stuff,” he said.

A few kilo­me­tres from the venue where ANC is to cel­e­brate its birth­day, a hive of ac­tiv­ity could be seen on the his­toric Vi­lakazi Street.

Stalls bear­ing ANC re­galia were al­ready erected three days be­fore the cel­e­bra­tions get un­der way.

Fezile Lukele, a staunch ANC sup­porter from Mbombela, said she at­tended most of the gov­ern­ing party’s ma­jor events in or­der to sell ANC re­galia.

“I ar­rived in Or­lando on Wed­nes­day night. I sell ANC T-shirts, dresses, jack­ets, hats, and any other cloth­ing that has the party colours on it,” Lukele said.

“Things have been slow so far but they’re go­ing to pick up,” she said.

Bongi Vi­lakazi, the mar­ket­ing and events head at NexDor, a pop­u­lar restau­rant on Vi­lakazi Street, said prepa­ra­tions get un­der way about a week ago af­ter talks with the rul­ing party started.

“From what we know they wanted to book the restau­rant for the event but noth­ing was con­firmed.

“But we know that once the ANC is in town, booked or not, the restau­rant is go­ing to be packed,” Vi­lakazi said.

He said the restau­rant could ac­com­mo­date be­tween 250 and 300 pa­trons.

We in­creased our stock in prepa­ra­tion


BIG BUSI­NESS: A hawker sells ANC re­galia on the famed Vi­lakazi Street in Or­lando West ahead of the rul­ing party’s 105th birth­day bash at Or­lando Sta­dium on Sunday.

GET­TING READY: Work gets un­der way for the cel­e­bra­tion.

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