ANC centenary bash - only party money
Bloemfontein - All ANC centenary events in January 2012 would be paid by the party itself, Free State ANC secretary Sibongile Besane said on Friday.
"The ANC events will be paid with our money," Besane told journalists.
He was reacting to concerns that taxpayers' would be used to fund the more than R400m for the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein.
The R400m was on top of the R100m which the ANC had already budgeted for next year's big party.
Besane said any additional costs involving taxpayers' cash would be spent on improved infrastructure which would benefit everyone.
The Wesleyan School and Methodist Church in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein, were heritage sites. "It's [the school and church] the property of government now and the government must see that it is maintained.”
The first meetings of the ANC were held at the church in 1912.
Besane said government was spending taxpayers' money to improve infrastructure at the Vredefort Dome, a world heritage site, to benefit the region’s tourism.
"We are happy the government is spending money on heritage sites in Bloemfontein and we give no apology," he said.
The restoration of the Waaihoek Methodist church was expected to cost about R35m. The church was erected in the early 1800s in the Waaihoek township near the now Bloemfontein central business district.
Only the church, which until recently housed a panel beating shop, and four other structures remained of the former township.
The government also allocated some R200m to renovate the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Mangaung, which would host many of the celebration events.
It was reported that upgrades of about R15m was also done at the official house of Free State Premier Ace Magashule.