The City Press Survivor's guide to the ANC policy conference

2012-06-26 08:28

City Press senior reporters Mandy Rossouw (@MandyRossouw) and Carien du Plessis (@CarienduPlessis) are attending the ANC policy conference in Johannesburg. They compiled a list on how to survive it: 1. Take your own snacks: You will be tempted to simply buy Niknaks and Wilson toffees to keep your jaws moving, but City Press would recommend peanuts and fruit because low GI snacks will keep you energised for those late-night caucuses where you want your voice to be heard.

2. Ear plugs: To block sounds from partying comrades in the next room. If you’re not lucky enough to get assigned a hotel room, you’ll need them for sleeping on the bus.

3. Blankets: Comrades, Joburg is cold. Don’t underestimate it – at the last policy conference it snowed. Bring an extra snuggly one for a friend you might meet at the venue.

4. Gadgets: Ask us, these conferences can get helluva boring. So do what we do to stay awake – tweet. For this you will need a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Don’t forget to tweet from the closed sessions!

5. Hangover cures: The party will be entertaining enough, but remember it’s not just about the ANC.

The after-parties at these occasions are another site of struggle. Make sure you pack milk thistle tablets, sun glasses, Cream Soda and Panado for the morning after.

Or whatever else you need to get through the day after you and Johnnie Walker got to know each other better.

6. Condoms: Warning! Don’t rely on outside suppliers.

At the January 8 celebration the condoms were faulty. Bring your own, as the government-issued ones in the toilets run out by 07.30am.

7. BBM pins: Give them to your newfound friends in your faction instead of your actual phone number, if you want to avoid saying hello to Lieutenant General Mdluli every time you make a call.

8. Digital camera: Capture the moment when JZ comes over to say ‘hi’. And avoid discussing “that tender” with uBaba when others are flashing their cameras.

9. Cash: To buy your own made-in-China T-shirt with the face of Zuma/Mbalula/Motlanthe/Tokyo on it so you can blend in with your faction.

10. Strepsils or other throat lozenges: Let’s be honest, your role will be to make your voice heard. Keep the vocal chords in tip-top condition at all times.

But in the end your most valuable possession will be your accreditation tag. Lose it and the conference is over for you.

» The ANC policy conference takes place at Gallagher Estate from June 26 to 29.

Follow our on-day coverage at 


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