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Author : Baleka Mbete

ANC statement on the state of readiness for Centenary Celebrations Preparations

14 December 2011

Today marks exactly 25 days before the 100th year of the African National Congress. Our preparations and readiness are on course in terms of ensuring that we mark this historic moment in the best deserved way by the people of South Africa. It is now a month since the planning team of the ANC Head Office has relocated to Mangaung to intensify the effort of the centenary preparations in partnership with the province of the Free State.

As we edge closer to January 8, 2012, we would like to call on all South Africans from diverse backgrounds to join in the mood, pride, accomplishment and celebrations. To us, as we always say the 100 years of the ANC is the heritage of the people of South Africa. It is similarly the heritage of the people of Africa some of whom were represented at the formation of this historic movement. The importance and historic significance of this movement centenary celebrations has been acknowledged by non other than the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon. This movement is the legacy of stalwarts like, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, Chief Albert Luthuli, Mama Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, OR Tambo, Lilian Ngoyi and John Langalibalele Dube amongst others.

The extraordinary celebration that is scheduled to take place throughout the year 2012, will kick-start with a three-day events that will start with the centenary golf day on Friday the 6th January 2012.

On the 7th January there will be a thanks giving ceremony at the Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, inter-cultural event at the Mangaung Outdoor Sport Complex, a Centenary Dinner hosted by the President of the ANC, Comrade Jacob Zuma. The dinner will have as invited guests Heads of State/Government and foreign dignitaries. The activities of the 7th will culminate in the lighting of the Centenary flame by President Zuma.

The 8th January, the actual date for the birthday of the ANC, will stage the main events which will start with an interdenominational church service at the Wesleyan Church in the morning, followed by the Centennial address by President Zuma. The address by the President will be followed by Tshihumbudzo, a story of the ANC in song and dance.

The African National Congress has intensified its efforts to ensure that we achieve the target of mobilizing a hundred thousand people to join in the celebrations in Mangaung. To this end, we have secured busses and trains to ferry our members and supporters within the Free State Province and from other provinces. We have to date, hundreds of volunteers that are conducting door-to-door campaigns in and around the province, particularly around the Mangaung area. This will be complemented with the deployment of NEC and PEC members to the various regions of the Free State Province at the beginning of January.

We can confirm that invitations have gone out to Heads of States/governments or their representatives, former Heads of States/Governments in Africa and in the world, the Diplomatic core representatives in South Africa, Anti-apartheid movements abroad, the families of the past leaders of the ANC as well as families of the departed leaders in the continent and the world who were the friends of the ANC. Amongst those invited in the country are the leaders of the tripartite alliance, eminent business people, the religious leaders, traditional leaders and sporting personalities and other categories of well known South Africans. We are satisfied with the confirmation of the attendance of the centenary from all the above categories of invitees.

We are also encouraged by the positive response we are receiving from leaders of the opposition parties in the country, some of whom have confirmed their attendance. This is consistent with the response we received from the political parties, when we launched the centenary preparations in July this year at the Constitutional Hill, some of whom have a shared history with the ANC.

The African National Congress has also created an opportunity for some of the visiting Heads of States/Governments to address the Gala dinner scheduled for the 7th January 2012. We will be humbled by their participation as we owe part of our survival as a liberation movement to their generosity when they hosted us under very trying times. They regard the ANC as part of their national heritage as some of their countries suffered dearly for hosting our glorious organization.

Provinces are also preparing themselves to celebrate our hundred years in the most exciting and imaginative way. We are very happy with the logistics for the centenary that include venues for all the activities, accommodation, transport, artist who will perform, catering for our invited guests, protocol arrangements, security and marshalling arrangements. We are satisfied that the event has been well publicized and we will intensify the publicity through adverts as we get closer to the events.

We would also like to remind the media that the media accreditation for the three-day centenary celebrations will be closing this Thursday by which time all media must have applied. The application forms are on the ANC website and can be obtained in hard copy when requested at the ANC Free State Provincial Office.

Issued by:
Baleka Mbete
ANC National Chairperson and National Centenary Task Team

Jackson Mthembu 0823708401