Vendors name their candidate at ANC conference

18 December 2017 - 15:55 By Siphe Macanda
Hawkers ply their trade on the sidelines of the 54th ANC National Elective Conference held at Nasrec on 18 December 2017.
Hawkers ply their trade on the sidelines of the 54th ANC National Elective Conference held at Nasrec on 18 December 2017.
Image: Masi Losi

If many of the street vendors outside the ANC national conference at Nasrec had their way‚ ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa would succeed Jacob Zuma as party president.

Ramaphosa appeared to be more popular than his rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when TimesLIVE spoke to traders selling goods outside the conference venue at the ANC's 54th national conference‚ south of Johannesburg.

A 13-year old street vendor did not mince his words when approached for comment about his preference for a new leader - he was looking forward to a Ramaphosa presidency.

The ANC was due to announce its election results late on Monday after conference delegates voted for new leaders earlier in the day and on Sunday.

The teen vendor‚ from Diepkloof‚ was one of hundreds of hawkers outside the Nasrec Expo Centre‚ selling ANC regalia‚ refreshments and food.

“I want Mr Ramaphosa to win‚” he said.

Asked why he preferred Ramaphosa over Dlamini-Zuma he chuckled: “I do not know why‚ but I want him to win‚ so he can be the country's president.”

Another street trader‚ Anna Majoro‚ who was busy dishing up pap for a queue of customers‚ said that she would have preferred Dlamini-Zuma but because she was “too attached” to Zuma‚ she would vote for Ramaphosa.

“Truly speaking I would have loved to have a woman president for the first time. As women this would be a huge confidence boost‚ but it seems like she is not independent and for me that is a negative on her side‚ so I would compromise and vote for Cyril‚” she said.

The aroma of meat and stew coming from the stalls alongside Randshow Road could be smelt from a distance. A full plate with meat‚ pap‚ veggies and a side of salad cost about R50. Other items on sale included caps‚ hats‚ shoes and jackets‚ all branded with the ANC logo and colours.

Some of the most expensive items included shoes for R800 and jackets costing from R1‚000 to R1‚500.

“Business is good but we are not selling as much as we would like to as competition is high because most of us sell similar items‚” one of the hawkers said.

Petunia Moloto‚ who was selling branded caps at R100 and golf shirts at R300‚ had a different preference to more than 10 hawkers who spoke with TimesLIVE.

“I want a woman president‚ whether it's Lindiwe Sisulu or Dlamini-Zuma‚ but it would be great to have a woman president. So I prefer Nkosazana to Ramaphosa‚” she said.

Since the beginning of the conference‚ hundreds of cars have been parked alongside Roadshow Road and there has been a heavy security presence including national and provincial traffic police‚ the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department and officers from the South African Police Service.