Partying and politics take over Florida Road
● Durban’s Florida Road resembled an ANC rally venue this week as party members made the famous nightspot zone their base.
While party leaders were all over the province drumming up support for the manifesto launch held yesterday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, all roads to the arena took a detour to Florida Road, the eternal party scene in the city.
Since Thursday, revellers in ANC T-shirts have flocked to the precinct.
As expected, the crowd favourite was the Cubana Havana Lounge.
From Thursday, the nightspot was packed with politicians, businessmen and government officials.
Disgraced politician and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association executive Carl Niehaus was in the company of Sifiso Mahlangu, former political editor of the now defunct The New Age newspaper.
ANC Tshwane chairman Kgosi Maepa, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, spin doctor Vuyo Mhaga and eThekwini municipality tourism head Phillip Sithole were together.
Restaurant staff ran up and down to make the most of what could be their best night after the festive season.
Many took to the dance floor but some moves clearly revealed age‚ and onlookers burst out laughing.
Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot champagne, Hennessey and Rémy Martin cognac, Bombay gin and aged bottles of Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich whiskies were popular.
Traditional leaders were represented by Zolani Mkiva, general secretary of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA.
Inside the Cuban-style restaurant there was little space to move and the smoke coming from cigars and hubbly-bubblies created the Latino atmosphere the establishment is known for.
The pavement looked like a luxury-brand car dealership with a Mercedes-Benz large people-carrier, a handful of Mercedes-Benz GLE SUVs and a Mercedes G Wagon.
Even for those who don’t frequent the party scene, there was no escaping the ANC’s presence in Durban. From King Shaka International Airport through to the city centre, ANC posters announcing its manifesto launch lined even the tiniest lanes. ANC flags flew high and ANC-branded cars were seen all over the city.