Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)

No mass rally and a virtual address by Ramaphosa: this is how ANC will celebrate January 8 amid Covid-19

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Jan 7, 2021

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Johannesburg - Despite being forced to cancel its annual birthday bash, the ANC has indicated that it was steaming ahead with plans to virtually celebrate its 109th anniversary on Friday.

Annually the party hosts its January 8 celebrations in different provinces on a rotational arrangement where its leaders, members and supporters celebrate and engage in organisational activities and festivities to celebrate the governing party’s 1912 founding.

The sometimes opulent festivities have, however, been brought to a halt for the first time this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and regulations which prohibit gatherings.

The ANC had already chosen Limpopo as the host province for this year’s celebrations.

ANC head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane said while official celebrations had been cancelled, President Cyril Ramaphosa would still deliver the annual January 8 statement on Friday night which serves as the party’s programme of action and line of march for the year.

“For the first time in our history, January 8 will be held under extraordinary circumstances imposed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be a significant departure from past practices. This year’s January 8 celebrations will be a virtual affair, including the build-up activities. As you are already aware, there will be no mass rally as on previous occasions,” Mokonyane said.

Mokonyane said the ANC’s leagues would hold separate virtual events on Thursday, including the Peter Mokaba Memorial Lecture by the ANC Youth League, while the party’s stalwarts would be availed to reflect on the event ahead of Ramaphosa’s address in the evening.

“The main programme will be chaired by our national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe from Luthuli House, with the NEC, Alliance partners and other fraternal parties including invited guests and dignitaries joining in virtually,” she said.

Political Bureau

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