A few seconds after he took to the podium, President Jacob Zuma was welcomed in song by the thousands of ANC supporters.
Zuma started off by saying the past few weeks had seen vigorous campaigning by the ANC.
“We have also been reporting back to the communities on what we have done.
“You told us what you expect from us in the next five years,” Zuma said.
He said South Africa was a better place, but stressed a lot more still needed to be done.
“In 1994 we took over and just over 40% of our people had access to clean water and, today, over 90% of our people enjoy access to clean water.”
He heaped praise on the good work done by the City of Johannesburg in improving the lives of people. He said transportation in the city was improving by the day, highlighting the Rea Vaya bus rapid system.
He said the good work would continue over the next five years, saying job creation would remain one of the party’s top priorities. Commenting on Tshwane, he said that in the city that was recently marred by violent protest over the nomination and endorsement of Thoko Didiza as mayoral candidate, a lot had been done to create employment for the youth.
“Tshwane is the home of the ANC,” he said.
Meanwhile, some people were seen leaving their seats while Zuma was still giving his speech.
There could be no better birthday present for the SA Communist Party than an overwhelming victory for the ANC during Wednesday’s local government elections, according to Blade Nzimande.
Addressing thousands of ANC supporters who converged on the Ellis Park stadium on Sunday, Nzimande called on workers not to just sit at home but to attend local meetings as well as ensure that they keep those in elected positions of authority accountable.
Meanwhile, labour federation Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali also called on everyone to be first in the queue on Wednesday and vote for the ANC. He said despite the challenges faced by the ANC and ordinary citizens, the ruling party remained the only party that would take the country forward.
Your love for the ANC doesn’t mean anything if you don’t go and vote for the ANC on Wednesday, Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile said on Sunday.
Addressing thousands of ANC supporters during the party’s Siyanqoba rally at Ellis Park stadium, Mashatile called on everyone to wake up early, to go and vote for the ANC. ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete said both Ellis Park and the nearby Johannesburg athletics stadium were packed to capacity by ANC supporters who came from all corners of the country.
Messages of support for the ANC were to be delivered by alliance partners before President Jacob Zuma’s keynote address.
The Ellis Park stadium in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, was abuzz on Sunday morning when ANC supporters and members arrived ahead of the party’s final rally before the municipal polls on Wednesday.
Dressed in their famous yellow and green T-shirts, supporters and members danced and chanted liberation songs a few hours before the party’s final election rally.
Just before 9am, the bottom half of the main stands were already starting to get full while other party supporters were seen arriving at the stadium.
Speaking to The Citizen, ANC provincial secretary in Gauteng Hope Papo said they were confident that the 60-000-plus-seater venue would be packed to capacity.
“We have done all the necessary groundwork during our campaigns and are confident that the stadium will be filled,” Papo said.
Party deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte echoed Papo’s sentiments, saying they were confident of doing well in Wednesday’s elections despite the unhappiness expressed by some party supporters in the weeks leading up to the elections.
By 10am on Sunday, the stadium was slowly filling up ahead of the Siyanqoba rally. As party supporters were still trickling into the stadium, more buses were seen arriving. Despite the somewhat cold morning, party supporters and members were seen dancing and chanting liberation songs.
A culture programme is expected to precede the main rally that will be addressed by ANC president Jacob Zuma. Several ANC leaders, including Fikile Mbalula, Nomvula Mokonyane and Jeff Radebe, have been at the venue since the morning.
The Siyanqoba rally comes as the EFF is getting ready to also hold its final election rally at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Limpopo. The DA wrapped up its final rally at the Dobsonville stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
The much-anticipated local government elections will take place on Wednesday. They are expected to be the most tightly contested in democratic history.
Watch Putco Mafani entertain the crowd: