Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture by Phando Jikelo African News Agency(ANA)
Durban - Tens of thousands of ANC supporters are expected to descend on Durban this week as the party launches its election manifesto on Saturday and celebrates 107 years since it was established.

Phillip Sithole, eThekwini’s deputy city manager of economic development and planning, said he expected at least R100million to be pumped into the city’s economy.

“We must remember that some of these people are big spenders,” he said.

“It is something that will benefit everyone, irrespective of their political affiliation.”

The thousands of supporters are expected to benefit township tourism as some ANC members will be visiting entertainment hotspots such as Eyadini Lounge and Max’s Lifestyle in uMlazi. Sithole said hotels are also expected to be fully booked.

He said the various political activations around the city, some of which are at the beachfront and in the townships, will also attract many people.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said they are expecting about 100000 people at Moses Mabhida Stadium and the People’s Park next door. She said official preparations had begun in September.

Simelane-Zulu said the party’s national executive committee (NEC) members were already in the province. The NEC has been meeting at the Coastlands Hotel in uMhlanga since Friday to discuss the various nominations lists received from ANC branches across the country.

Yesterday, NEC member Dakota Legoete said ANC leaders who have been nominated to be on the election list would only know at the end of the month if they have passed the vetting process, which is aimed at removing party members with questionable characters.

Legoete also revealed that former president Jacob Zuma had been nominated on to the list of MPs.

“We had over 800 names and now we have to trim them because there are 400 seats on the national assembly.

“Out of that 400, 200 are mainly from us at the national level and the other 200 are from province to national,” he said.

He said after people had been nominated on to the list, there would be a process of them accepting or declining the nomination.

“Once we reach that stage, we will know where Zuma stands. Branches felt that he is still capable of leading and we will not undermine that process. We will hear from comrade Zuma whether he accepts or declines.”

ANC acting spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said there would also be a means test. “(This test) will include criminal records, those who have a history of sowing division, people who have been to disciplinary committees of the ANC, and people who can’t pass the test of integrity for the ANC,” said Kodwa.

Legoete said the party was speeding up the process in order to comply with the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) February deadline. Any party that submits its list late will be disqualified from elections, he explained.

He said the party would not release the list to the public as that is the responsibility of the IEC.

Legoete said the North West Province had yesterday rerun its list conference after the previous event was cancelled over a dispute.

“Once all provinces hold their list conferences, we will be able to start campaigning,” he said.

While a recently-released poll undertaken by research outfit Ipsos polled the ANC at 61% support, the party would still need to convince voters and make sure that those elected to the list were, in fact, voted into national Parliament and provincial legislatures, said Legoete. Additional reporting ANA

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