An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC while the President Jacob Zuma addresses ANC Gauteng Cadre Assembly in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

The Free State ANC elective conference started after a delay of several hours in Parys on Friday.

Delegates stood for several hours in the cold wind for party officials to put the final touches to the venue for the conference.

The conference is being held at the former Arwa factory in the industrial area of Parys.

Delegates were allowed in at around 1pm on Friday under strict security.

The identity tags of party members and media were checked more than once by marshalls a short distance from the gate to the factory floor.

Once inside, the smallish group of delegates started singing ANC songs.

Free State ANC chairman Ace Magashule sat inside the hall and chatted to party officials and elders.

It was not sure how many delegates were attending the conference and how many would be voting delegates.

Local party officials said the figures would be made available to the media later. - Sapa