The ANC and its supporters from throughout the country are descending on Orlando Stadium in Soweto to celebrate the former liberation party’s 105th birthday.
President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver the annual January 8 Statement, which sets the tone for the ANC’s plans and vision for the year and summarises its previous year’s work. Zuma and his party have had a turbulent 2016, and the weather forecast (for one) is predicting that storm clouds are on the horizon early in 2017. Quite literally.
Weather.com is predicting that the likelihood of rain and even thunderstorms is set to peak early in the afternoon, with the odds of heavy rain stopping later. The weather service has warned that some parts of Gauteng can even expect flooding.
This may affect the turnout at the stadium, though it probably just means that tens of thousands of people will be getting a bit wet. The ANC normally goes all out with entertainers and a big stage during days like this, but not even a party whose birthday Zuma says is as important as the birthday of Jesus can do anything about the weather.
The weather gods may not play along tomorrow, complicating an already complicated day that analysts have predicted could be a hint of whether Zuma’s final year in office as ANC president will go badly or well for him.
The SA Weather Service has called on all road users travelling back from holiday destinations to be extra cautious on the roads as heavy downpours have been forecast in different provinces this weekend.
Yesterday, forecaster Wayne Venter said that in Gauteng, the bulk of the rain was expected later this afternoon, going into the evening, and that it would continue on Sunday.
“The rainfall is expected to continue into Sunday as well and we have already issued a watch for heavy rain which could lead to localised flooding,” he said.
Let’s hope the ruling party is giving out umbrellas along with T-shirts this year.