Party colours fly high ahead of the big bash
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.