Re­fresh­ing to see lead­er­ship change at ANC’s 107th an­niver­sary

The Mercury - - NEWS - | BONGANI MBATHA African News Agency (ANA) MUHAM­MAD OMAR

HAV­ING at­tended the ANC 107th an­niver­sary rally in Dur­ban as an or­di­nary cit­i­zen, it was re­fresh­ing to see the lead­er­ship change to Cyril Ramaphosa from Ja­cob Zuma.

Ramaphosa will by and large not neg­a­tively af­fect the out­comes for the gov­ern­ing party.

ANC se­cu­rity were on duty, and the vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence was min­i­mal.

Bear in mind that for Ramaphosa the stakes were high as he was in Zuma’s home base and any­thing neg­a­tive would have been a dent to his cam­paign.

Zuma is still pop­u­lar within the rank and file. Vote-wise, in KwaZulu-Natal the ANC may take a slight dip but this should be more than com­pen­sated for na­tion­ally.

Walk­ing to the sta­dium, it was amaz­ing to see how a num­ber of ven­dors have cre­ated var­i­ous ANC para­pher­na­lia with one even “sell­ing” ANC tat­toos. Even our street en­trepreneurs have dis­cov­ered a vi­able busi­ness op­por­tu­nity at these ral­lies.

The au­di­ence’s re­ac­tion when Ahmed Ti­mol was hon­oured with an award was touch­ing.

As for KZN, the mes­sage from MEC Sihle Zikalala was unity – my only ques­tion is at what cost? From his tone, one could sense a shift of sup­port away from Zuma.

Ramaphosa made good points in his mes­sage, and one that stood out was about in­ef­fi­cient and in­ef­fec­tive pub­lic ser­vants. He also high­lighted a land claim set­tle­ment which for nine years was col­lect­ing dust un­til his in­ter­ven­tion – and in six months this was set­tled.

This is a se­ri­ous in­dict­ment on the flaws of the Zuma ad­min­is­tra­tion and may be a good point to note why new lead­er­ship was needed.

Over­all the event was safe and be­ing one of the very few (less than five) whose an­ces­tors were not African, I can clearly vouch that not once, even while walk­ing home, was I wor­ried about my safety.

Com­pli­ments go to the par­tic­i­pants, or­gan­is­ers and se­cu­rity team.

The event was well or­gan­ised and for the ANC, other po­lit­i­cal par­ties and the coun­try, the elec­tion sea­son of­fi­cially be­gan at the sta­dium.

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa with some of the del­e­gates at the launch of the ANC man­i­festo at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium on Satur­day. For Ramaphosa, the stakes were high as he was on Zuma’s home turf in KZN, says the writer.

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