The African National Congress (ANC) says it’s all systems go for the resumption of its 55th national conference this week.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula briefed the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday, on the state of readiness for the governing party’s upcoming events.
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The ANC is set to continue its national conference on Thursday, through virtual platforms after it was adjourned on 20 December due to logistical issues.
ALSO READ: ANC national conference adjourned to 5 January 2023
The party will also hold its annual January 8 Statement celebrations this Sunday in Mangaung, Free State, to mark its 111th anniversary since its formation in 1912.
Resumption of 55th national conference
Mbalula said over 4 000 delegates, including the ANC’s leagues and alliance partners, were expected to take part in the conference.
He said the gathering will be decentralised into nine hybrid venues across the country’s nine provinces.
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The Imvelo Safari Lodge in Mangaung will be the main national venue where members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) – the party’s highest decision-making body – will be based ahead of Sunday’s January 8 Statement that will be delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Since the conference was adjourned, credentials remain unchanged and delegates are, therefore, requested to bring along their tags and they’ll be registered at the different venues across the country.
“Each venue will be linked to the national hub from where the proceedings will be directed,” said Mbalula.
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Outstanding conference items
The conference is expected to conclude with reports from commissions on strategy and tactics, organisational renewal, finances and sustainability as well as reports from commissions on governance and transformation, constitutional amendments and conference declarations.
Mbalula said logistics-related accreditations and the setup for the hybrid conference across provinces were at an advanced stage.
He said the conference will run over two days, starting from Thursday to Friday.
“We will conclude [the conference] within these two days. We might conclude in the early hours of the 6th, with the declaration and the closing address by the president. In between that, they will also be media briefings.”
ANC birthday celebrations
Following concerns raised over the safety of the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium to host the ANC’s birthday celebrations, Mbalula said the party had sorted all the issues pertaining to safety regulations.
“All matters that were previously flagged in relation to the stadium infrastructure have been cleared, we got a certificate from the Mangaung Municipality that they have cleared all the issues and granted the ANC permission to use the stadium,” he said.
Concerns about the facility were raised by the metro’s acting city manager Tebogo Motlashuping in a letter dated 21 December 2022.
Motlashuping warned that the northern part of the stadium “sunk after construction, toilet facilities were vandalised, there was no running water from the taps and no electrical or fire certificates were available”.
The stadium has a capacity of 15 000 and the ANC expects the stadium to be full to capacity.
The ANC will also host a golf day and a gala dinner on Saturday, ahead of its birthday celebrations on Sunday.
Mbalula said the events will be used to raise funds for the party.
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