JOHANNESBURG, June 4 (ANA) – African National Congress President Jacob Zuma received a warm welcome from the more than 80,000 ANC supporters gathered at the FNB Stadium bordering Soweto in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon for the launch of the party’s Gauteng August 3 local government elections manifesto.

The crowd cheered as Zuma made his way into the stadium, singing songs as he walked around the field waving at them. The crowd appeared to be unfazed that the programme had been delayed by at least three hours after it had been officially set to begin at 11am.

Gauteng premier and provincial ANC deputy chairman David Makhura announced earlier that 80,128 people had entered the 96,000-seat stadium.

However, some people started leaving the stadium before Zuma started speaking – after the main speaker of the day Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile had finished his speech.

Zuma told the remaining supporters that Gauteng was the “home” of the ANC.

“No other party can be in charge of Gauteng like the ANC; the ANC must win the 2016 elections, in particular Gauteng.
Not because we are power hungry but our track records show that we have improved Gauteng,” he said.

“The ANC is able, determined, and ready to improve the performance in the municipalities.”

The ANC had a good plan for the next five years, which included expanding the capacity of municipalities, cleaning campaigns, and maintaining tarred roads. The party also planned to closely monitor councillors to ensure they carried out their tasks effectively.

Zuma briefly touched on unemployment, especially among the youth, and said government wanted to create the necessary environment for job creation.

He also urged people to refrain from anarchy, saying the ANC would continue to promote the right to protest but that “anarchy has no place in a democracy”.

Earlier, Mashatile said the ANC had remained true to the people and had been steadfast in building a better South Africa.

“The ANC has done a lot for our people and will continue to work for a better Gauteng by promoting growth and advancing job creation,” he said.

In the next five years the ANC would work together with the community to deliver services. The party had chosen the best candidates to be counsellors.

Mashatile outlined some of the ANC’s achievements in Gauteng, including that Moody’s ratings agency had “proved” that Johannesburg was a well-run city.

Programmes for the youth had been created and they should take advantage of these, he said.

ANC supporter Sarah Zingange, 61, from the Tshwane region, said she came to the manifesto launch because of the love she had for ANC.

“I love it because I was there in the apartheid era and I have noticed the changes they have done in our lives. I will never abandon the ANC and I’m happy with their governance as compared to when we [were] in apartheid,” she said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Disclaimer: This story is pulled directly from the African News Agency wire, and has not been edited by Mail & Guardian staff. The M&G does not accept responsibility for errors in any statement, quote or extract that may be contained therein.