Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium will be filled to capacity by 10am with loyal African National Congress supporters keen on hearing its election manifesto, the party’s KwaZulu-Natal chairman predicted early on Saturday morning.
“ANC members will fill up Moses Mabhida Stadium. By 10am, it will be packed to capacity with disciplined members of the ANC,” said Sihle Zikalala just before 7am at the stadium.
He said the stadium – which has a seating capacity of 56,000 but can be up-scaled to 85,000 – would be so full that President Cyril Ramaphosa would probably have to address the overflowing crowds outside the venue.
Ramaphosa and other senior ANC members have been traversing KwaZulu-Natal since last weekend to mobilise support for the manifesto launch and canvass for the upcoming general election. The manifesto will outline the governing party’s policy direction over the next five years.
Zikalala said the manifesto would respond to “key challenges” faced by the country, which included unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and building a capable state.
At an ANC fundraising dinner on Friday night, Ramaphosa told guests that the 10,000 word manifesto built on the work done over the last 25 years and “sustained the momentum” of 2018.
Ramaphosa was elected ANC president in December 2017 and sworn in as president in February 2018 when Jacob Zuma resigned.
“Our manifesto is a coherent and bold plan for a better life for all, addressing the persistent realities of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. It is informed by the National Development Plan and by the lived experience of our people,” Ramaphosa said.
The manifesto was about transforming the economy into one that would serve all people and would build on the nation’s stimulus and recovery plan, he said.
Former president Zuma remains immensely popular in KwaZulu-Natal, where he lives, and some pundits have expressed fears that his supporters may try to disrupt the event. However, Ramaphosa has thus far been warmly received during his visits throughout the week.