Seleteng village in Limpopo to host ANC birthday commemoration in January
Only 100 people will be allowed to join, in person, the ANC’s 109th birthday celebrations in Limpopo next year.
Called the January 8 statement, the event, usually attended by thousands, will only accommodate 100 people in the main plenary in Limpopo. Other party supporters will join in via digital platforms from their homes and designated locations in various provinces.
This is to minimise the spread of Covid-19 as the country battles its second wave of infections.
ANC leaders have been in Limpopo since Tuesday assessing the venue where the event will be held at Seleteng village in Ga-Mphahlele, just outside Polokwane, where the late struggle stalwart Sefako Makgatho was born.
The party’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the January 8 statement as per the norm.
“We chose to host the event in this area as part of reconnecting with the masses of our people and embracing our struggle heritage,” Duarte said.
“The event will take place under strict protocols in line with the Covid-19 regulations. This includes wearing of masks at all times and application of hand sanitisers as well as social distancing.”
For the first time in more than two decades, ANC supporters will not gather in large numbers to celebrate the party’s birthday.
The January 8 statement is used to essentially give ANC leaders and supporters marching orders for the year. It usually gives an indication of what the state of the nation address will make its focus.
As the ruling party, the ANC is responsible for giving direction to government on programmes that should be focused on for the year.
“We are limiting the attendance to 100 people in the main plenary and will connect to all provinces via video link to ensure regulations are not undermined in any way.
“The normal movement of buses from provinces and hundreds of people coming to one single venue will not be happening next year,” Duarte said.
The main celebration on January 8 will be preceded by build-up activities between January 5 and 7.
These will include visits to royal houses in the province, meeting religious leaders and sectoral formations, a presidential golf day and engagement with sectors of the community, Duarte said.
Only a few ANC officials led by Ramaphosa will be in Limpopo, while other national and provincial leaders will be tasked with organising the celebrations in country's provinces.
“January 8 presents the ANC and the nation with an opportunity to once again take stock of the progress we have registered and to reflect on the road that still lies ahead,” Duarte said.
“It is a moment to dedicate ourselves to the unity and renewal of our movement and intensify our pursuit of radical socio-economic transformation.”