Bloem ready for ANC centenary party

2012-01-05 22:41

Bloemfontein - Businesses and residents of Bloemfontein on Thursday said they were fully prepared for the influx of people coming into town for the ANC centenary celebrations at the weekend.

The Mangaung metropolitan municipality has been putting the finishing touches to the streets of Bloemfontein in preparation for the celebrations. Workers throughout the city were seen emptying dustbins, collecting refuse, cutting lawns, and trimming unruly vegetation.

The gold, green and black colours of the ANC could be seen on almost every street lamp pole around town, some drumming up support for the celebrations, and others carrying messages of thanks to southern African countries such as Namibia and Zimbabwe for supporting the party during the apartheid years.

Local street sweeper Paskalina Tlali said the municipality expected her to work harder to keep ahead of a potential build-up of rubbish over the weekend.

"There will be a lot of people, and a lot of litter to clean up. The municipality wants the streets to be clean all the time," she said.

Spur manager Shaun Kelly said his restaurant was fully prepared to cater for hungry attendees.

"We have stocked up on extras, and even went out of our way to get expensive whiskey, like [Johnnie Walker] Blue Label. We are really looking forward to seeing some famous people in the restaurant."

Kelly said he was not sure whether celebrations were necessary.

"One-hundred years is a big deal, and the ANC have come a long way. But a friend of mine is helping to construct the stage in the stadium, and I've seen pictures of it.

"It's all a big waste, and it is almost like they [the ANC] are showing off. It is a lot of expenditure for nothing. Come to the townships, I will show you where they need to spend their money," he said.

A security guard at the Waterfront mall said he felt disappointed because he would not be able to attend the celebrations.

"I have to be here, I am not going because of the job," Molatudie Mokoai said.

"This celebration is special. I am a member of the ANC and I am 100% proud of them. All I need to do is find a [ANC] t-shirt."

Maleseto Mokoena, a fruit vendor outside the Performance Arts Centre of the Free State, said her supply of fruit would be exhausted before the celebrations began.

"It is the same as the World Cup. A lot of people will be here, and my business will be busy and all my stocks will finish," she said.

"This [centenary] is important, and everyone must celebrate because the ANC is big in the world."

Louwna Erasmus, editor of local newspaper Bloemfontein Courant, said Bloemfontein was the perfect place to celebrate the history of politics in the country.

"The ANC started here, and so did the National Party. So Bloemfontein is an important part of the history of South Africa," she said.

The National Party, the former ruling party of the country during the apartheid era, was formed by Afrikaner nationalists in Bloemfontein in 1914.

More than 100 000 people were expected to attend the centenary celebrations in the same province, where the South African Native National Congress was founded on January 8 1912. It was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.

The army as well as over 3 000 police have been deployed to ensure security, particularly because of the heads of state who have confirmed their attendance.

They include Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

It was still unclear if former president Nelson Mandela would attend the celebrations.

  • litthauers - 2012-01-05 23:23

    On the plus side: Bloem is seeing some service delivery, for once! :-D

      Squeegee - 2012-01-06 05:59

      Hope the B&Bs make a killing.

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-06 07:45

      "Hope the B&Bs make a killing." Literally.

  • Obie - 2012-01-05 23:30

    News 24 blocking anything a say it seems due to my profile pic... come on News 24 .. sort yourself out and STOP censoring free speech..

      Vaaldonkie - 2012-01-06 08:34

      Make sure what you have to say os worth listening to.

  • Alva - 2012-01-05 23:58

    What? Will the Spur in Bloem now be serving KFC & Chicken Licken?

      Silver - 2012-01-06 07:41


      Vaaldonkie - 2012-01-06 08:34

      Nando's is too expensive and healthy.

  • Alva - 2012-01-06 00:02

    Johnny Walker? OMG! Serve karate water and anything can happen in Bloem!

  • Justin Langley - 2012-01-06 02:16

    Would never had guessed that vegetation could even get unruly when the ANC came to town

  • Ian - 2012-01-06 03:19

    unruly vegetation, for f sake news 24 whats with the bs bee reporting, come on already, wow getting the city ready all because a bunch of thieves are coming to trash your town, shame, if only all our anc run cities were looked after this way, but alas, nope

  • Pawel - 2012-01-06 05:18

    Just one OOPS!!!

      Silver - 2012-01-06 07:41

      Ja, don't drop the bom... err I mean the ball on that one.

  • Beetroot - 2012-01-06 07:30

    Theres no business like show business! The circus is coming to town!!!

  • Vegi - 2012-01-06 07:51

    This is a big event for citizens. All loyal citizens must celebrate. There is no time for seditious behaviour. Be a good citizen.

      Vaaldonkie - 2012-01-06 08:36

      I don't live in a Soviet republic.

  • Comrade - 2012-01-06 08:07

    Shame, poor Bloemfontein...eish!

  • Justin - 2012-01-06 08:25

    Please can Pietermaritzburg have the next ANC conference/party, so that our electricity, streetlights and roads can be repaired and our litter can be picked up...As long as you clean up after your party, and pay the hotel bills of course.

  • Vaaldonkie - 2012-01-06 08:33

    Anyone who proclaims to be "fully prepared" for the coming ANC onslaught, sorry "festivities", is a damn fool.

      Pierre - 2012-01-06 10:56

      Trust they are boarding up the shop windows. This ain't Hurricane Katrina. This is Hurricane cANCer!!!

  • phumlani.mbatha - 2012-01-06 08:33

    congratulations to the ANC, it is a huge work to change the past amidst criticism and pessimisism. the same people who destroyed the country and looked down upon human rights are the ones that anticipate the downfall of the people's party, they neither criticise nor comment on the evilness of their system that nearly destroyed our land. today we support the ANC that is trying by all means to restore the dignity of our land which was forcefully taken from its rightful owners. we are quite aware of the weaknesses of the ANC leaders members, but we also understand that all men are fallible beings. congratulations ANC, we wish you another hundred years and more.

      Blade - 2012-01-06 09:58

      When you mention "the same people who destroyed the country" are you referring to the white population that built a first world infrastructure and enconomy where once there was only mudhuts and loincloths? Or are you referring to the backward greedy useless ANC that are now destroying said infrastructure and economy?

  • Charmain - 2012-01-06 08:36

    already problems anc can't even orgonize a pis* up in a brewery we all knew problems were going to happed never do the anc disappoint us

  • Errol - 2012-01-06 09:52

    Who are the brave people that decorated the power station stacks?

  • Pierre - 2012-01-06 10:06

    This is going to be such a lovely weekend of excessive drinking and random fornication! All so well deserved for a job well done!!

  • rochelle.deruiter - 2012-01-06 10:25

    HoW Many Kids sleeping on the streets of Bloem? How many people do not have Food do not even remember when was the lAst time they had a PROPER DECENT plate of FooD? ? How many? hOW mANY? bUT tHERE IS mONEY for Johnie Walker Blue LABEL R1577.12????????????????????????

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