Port Elizabeth – The ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay is hoping to have 40 000 supporters at its Siyanqoba Rally at the Dan Qeqe Stadium on Saturday, where President Jacob Zuma will speak.
The party had arranged 500 buses to transport people to the stadium, party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told reporters at the stadium on Friday.
He said the event was not a provincial rally, but a culmination of the party’s electioneering work in the region over the past few weeks.
"There is excitement about the ANC, not withstanding some of the challenges. Having resolved political challenges, I think people are now resolved to see the ANC win."
On April 16, the ANC failed to fill the 46 000-seat Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, for its election manifesto launch.
Kodwa was certain that the outcome of the elections in the metro would disprove what surveys had been predicting. Market research company Ipsos and broadcaster eNCA’s survey has predicted that the DA would win in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Kodwa said the fortunate thing about the event being held at the Dan Qeqe Stadium was that media could not ask about its capacity, but merely speculate about how many people it could accommodate.
"I don’t know how we are going to manage to control the crowds here," he said.
ANC regional spokesperson Beza Ntshona said they were confident about the expected attendance and they had not sucked the figure out of their thumbs.
"Even if tomorrow we can be told it will be elections, we would win the metro. The president will be happy to see that the Nelson Mandela Bay remains a stronghold of the ANC," he said.
Local government elections, Kodwa said, were not about filling stadiums, but about interacting with individuals.
“You can fill a stadium with people who are not even registered. The science of 'stadiumology' must not be an ideal that in itself means you won."
What had given the ANC confidence, he said, were their door-to-door visits, which told them that they would win overwhelmingly.
"People still love the ANC."