President Jacob Zuma dancing. (News24)
Durban – The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has blamed the poor turnout at its Youth Month rally on Saturday on logistics after it failed to come close to filling Kings Park stadium in Durban.
The 40 000-seater stadium looked only half full when President Jacob Zuma and ANCYL president, Collen Maine addressed the crowd. However the league's secretary general Njabulo Nzuza said part of being a leader was to admit when you have done well.
"This gives us space to improve. The assertion that the stadium was half full is not the case. The capacity of the stadium is 40 000 and we have 32 000 people who walked into the stadium, although there might have been issues with them staying in the stadium."
While hundreds of ANCYL members were being addressed inside the stadium, many were seen walking around outside.
"Our main problem was with transport where we had paid service providers and learnt at a later stage that they did not have the capacity [and] the number of buses.
"We compensated with... taxis to bring the people to the stadium. We are, however, very happy that we called young people and they heeded the call to be here."
Nzuza said: "We admit that we did not reach the figures that we had anticipated today."
He however said the ANCYL was happy with the number of people who came to its rally.
Nzuza said this should be a lesson for the Youth League and in future it should be able to detect such problems earlier.
The rally got off to a rocky start on Saturday morning, with some ANC members at the stadium while others were at the ANC's provincial offices where President Jacob Zuma unveiled an elections countdown clock.
In April the ANC battled to get the expected 100 000 people to the 46 000-seater Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth during its election manifesto launch. The party only managed to fill two-thirds of the stadium.
In KwaZulu-Natal President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to address a National Prayer Day at the end of April. However, that event was postponed to May, apparently over fears that ANC branches were going to boycott the Kings Park stadium event.
When the event eventually took place, the party still could not fill the venue.
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