President Jacob Zuma’s face is not on election posters advertising the ANC’s provincial manifesto launch in Gauteng and the party explained that its because it was only confirmed a few days back that he would give a speech.
The party’s Provincial deputy secretary Gwen Ramokgopa made this explanation saying that the election posters which contained the faces of celebrities and local leaders, excluding President Zuma, were put up to encourage voters to register for the coming local government elections.
“We are now focusing on the face of the manifesto message, and we ask the voters to look at our track record, and that face is the face of the president,” she said, adding that the next phase of manifesto launch would have posters with the president’s face.
The election posters advertising Saturday’s manifesto launch had faces of the provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile even though the manifesto would be clashing with that the rally in Mpumalanga, where Zuma was set to give a speech. Mpumalanga, however, had to move its manifesto launch to Sunday to enable Zuma to attend both.
Though the ANC’s foot in Gauteng remains shaky as residents have been critical of Zuma’s leadership, the Gauteng Premier and deputy provincial chairperson David Makhura strongly believe that the party would fill up the 94 000-seater FNB Stadium in Soweto.
“The feeling that we get everywhere is the same. People are looking forward to coming to the rally,” he said, though he declined to say how many supporters the party expected there.
According to him, the party would prove it had strong, grassroots support. He said about 1 800 buses have been made available to ferry supporters to the rally. Of those, 1 700 buses were already filled with volunteers and supporters who had said they would attend.
He, therefore, called on supporters to take advantage of the free public transport provided for them to get to the venue, as traffic jam was expected around the stadium.