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ANC Gauteng vows to fill FNB Stadium for manifesto launch

A confident Gauteng African National Congress (ANC) says it will pack to capacity the FNB stadium for its provincial manifesto launch this Saturday.

President Jacob Zuma and provincial chair Paul Mashatile are expected to address the crowd.

The ANC suffered a 10% decrease in the last national elections and opposition parties are fighting to wrest control of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros.

Protests over the candidate list for the municipal government elections continued outside Luthuli House, with many representing Gauteng branches, but the ANC says it is ready for the battle to retain control.

Saturday will be a show of force. The ANC in Gauteng says filling the 94 000 capacity stadium is an easy matter.

This after the ANC failed to fill the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth when it held its national manifesto launch in April.
Deputy chairperson David Makhura says they are ready. “We’ve always filled various stadiums, literally on our own, without other provinces, not once, at least four times. We are confident, we have organisational strength.”

The party in the province is now on damage control mode after protests by some branches over the final list of candidates for the local government elections.

The process has been marred by violence as members jostle to make it on the list and again many that gathered outside the headquarters in Luthuli house threatened to boycott Saturday’s event.

Head of Campaigns Gwen Ramokgopa says, “In terms of those who are unhappy, we started to give feedback where preferred candidates were not endorsed for various reasons, yes there will be unhappiness but we are managing these.”

The ANC in the economic hub of the country is facing an intense battle as opposition parties want to wrest control especially of the three metros.

The party needs to recover from the bruising national election that saw support decline to 53%, but it is ruling out any coalitions saying it expects to be back in charge after August 3.

It also believes it will win back Midvaal, the only DA controlled municipality in the province.

Ramokgopa says their track record speaks for itself. “We don’t foresee ANC not given mandate to continue, based on the track record, municipalities governed by ANC are acknowledged for breakthroughs and achievements.”

The provincial leadership expects no negative reaction to President Zuma. This despite calls by some of the branches and veteran leaders that he steps down following the damning Constitutional Court Judgement against him.

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