ANC members from around the Eastern Cape gathered in Port Elizabeth at the weekend for the party’s provincial 101st anniversary celebrations.
About 2000 people – young and old, dressed in ANC colours – attended the celebrations at the NU 1 Stadium in Motherwell on Saturday.
The party’s deputy secretary general, Jesse Duarte, touched on economic freedom, service delivery, land distribution, gender equality and strengthening the ANC during her speech.
“We have to be united. We cannot leave achieving economic freedom in the hands of a minority anymore. We must live what we say we will do.
“We cannot indicate left and turn right.
“Anybody going in a different direction must accept the consequences,” she said.
She promised that the party would improve service delivery.
“We are saying the ANC must lead us in taking service delivery out of mediocrity. We must ensure that people are qualified as municipal managers and hospital managers.
“Government must spread the land distribution no later than this year.
“Women deserve more than what we have been given.
“We demand more without asking or begging for it,” she said.
Duarte said they were committed to ensuring labour relations remained in the hands of Cosatu.
She challenged their 1.2-million members to ensure they delivered on their promises.
Before taking a swipe at the DA, she called on ANC members to “go back to your branches and organise the movement on the ground”.
“Parents need to show interest in what is going on at school.
“Don’t leave it in the hands of DA parents and councillors.
“We cannot allow our country to be run by neo-colonists who dance to our songs and speak our languages,” she said to loud cheers.
“Let us be careful not to be guided by people who don’t understand our history.
“We’re a non-racial, non-sexist democratic organisation that works for a better life for all.”
Some of those in attendance said the ANC was capable of delivering on its promises.
Xolani Zula, 27, of Mthatha said the party would “lead the masses until Jesus came back”.
Hester Jacobs, 56, of Madiba Valley township in Lorraine, said: “We got water last year and they are about to relocate us to RDP houses.
“The ANC is definitely on the right track.”
Khaya Nqiqha, 36, of Hofmeyr in the Karoo, agreed.
“They are an organisation that stands for all people, including the poor. We still have faith that they will deliver houses, jobs and other essential services.
“We’ve seen what they have done since 1994. They do have their faults but they’re doing their best,” he said.
Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said two cakes would be donated to Emmanuel Haven and Ekuphumleni old age homes.
Members came from all the provincial party regions including Nelson Mandela Bay, Chris Hani, Buffalo City, Alfred Nzo, Joe Qabi, Amathole, OR Tambo and Sarah Baartman.
Also in attendance were ANC national executive committee members, the women’s league, the youth league, Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans, and representatives of the party’s alliance partners – Cosatu and the SA Communist Party.