POLITICAL NEWS - The ANC has cancelled its 109th anniversary celebrations that were set to be held in Limpopo on 8 January.
In a statement shared by head of digital communications in the Presidency Athi Geleba on Monday, the party said it came to the conclusion after a briefing from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on the effects of the second Covid-19 wave.
“The prognosis paints a worrying picture and all indications are that the virus will escalate in terms of the rate of infections in all provinces, other than the Northern Cape.
“The officials were unanimous that it was untimely to forge ahead with the celebration in view of the aggressive nature of the pandemic. We are of the view that we have to uphold measures that are prescribed to minimise the spread and impact of this pandemic.
“In this regard the national officials have taken a conscious decision to cancel the planned January 8th commemoration event that was scheduled to take place at Ga-Mphahlele in Limpopo and all regions of our country,” said the party in a statement.
According to the ANC, it would not be responsible for a ruling party to continue with any celebrations where people gather.
“For this reason and in the interest of saving lives, the officials have decided that all January 8 celebrations be cancelled.”
On the day, President Cyril Ramaphosa will read a statement that will be broadcast on all ANC digital platforms. The party was also in consultations with mainstream media houses and community media to ensure people have direct access to the address.
The ANC national executive committee (NEC) will also have a virtual meeting on 6 January to finalise the contents of the statement to be read by the president.
Limpopo will host the party’s birthday celebrations in 2022.
“We reiterate our call on all South Africans to respect and abide by all regulations that have been announced by the government without any fail. This will go a long way in preserving lives and ensuring that the rippling effects of the pandemic are contained.”
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte had announced last week that there would be no mass rally, with the event only accommodating 100 attendees in the main plenary and a video link used to connect with other provinces.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde