The Orlando Stadium in Soweto was packed to the rafters on Sunday as the African National Congress (ANC) celebrated its 105th birthday under the theme “Unity in Action.” The rain could not deter key ANC supporters. young and old, black and white ANC supporters came in full support to celebrate with the ANC on Sunday.
The day started as early as 5am, with leadership addressing members of the media and giving predictions of how the day would turn out.
ANC leadership were not shook by the weather and were determined that the 105th anniversary celebrations of the ANC would be a success, and this was the order of the day.
ANC supporters at the stadium welcomed Gauteng chairperson of the ANC, Comrade Paul Mashatile as he thanked all who had come to celebrate with the ANC. He said the rain should be seen as a blessing. He encouraged that after the celebrations “We should leave and go to our branches and work together.”
While presenting the January 8 statement, President Jacob Zuma referred to Isithalandwe Oliver Reginald Tambo, whom he described as a true servant of the people and embodiment of the pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution.
2017 also marks the year Comrade OR Tambo would have celebrated 100 years of age had he lived until 2017. The ANC dedicated this year – his centenary – to him. President Tambo served as president of our movement from 1967 to 1991 and is regarded as the glue that held the many facets of the ANC together during the difficult years in exile.
This years theme of “Unity in Action” ties in with Comrade Tambo’s sentiments that the ANC has a vision of South Africa in which black and white live in conditions of peace and prosperity.
President Jacob Zuma indicated that ANC has listened and heard the cries of the people. “The people have told us that we are too busy fighting each other and we do not pay sufficient attention to their needs.
Our own research and interactions with members of the ANC demonstrate clearly that the people abhor the apparent preoccupation with personal gain. People are clear: their main priorities are jobs, fighting crime and corruption. Our task is therefore to grow the economy, create jobs and rigorously fight crime and corruption,” the president said.
Supporters welcomed the president’s speech and positively cheered during his delivery. The stadium was filled with song and dance throughout the day, with entertainment from various artists such as Oskido, Robbie Malinga, Busiswa, Durbanites, and more.
The road to the ANC January 8 celebrations comprised of heavy mobilization in and around the Gauteng Province. The Secretary General (SG) of the ANC, Comrade Gwede Mantashe said, “everywhere we went people were all positive saying nothing can stop us, not even rain.”
Cde Mantashe also emphasized the importance of unity within the ANC and the importance of speaking the same language as an organization.
ANC January 8 Statement 2017 - The Year of OR Tambo