The much-anticipated Eastern Cape ANC elective conference has resulted in business booming at the top hospitality establishments in East London.
Major hotels along the beachfront are fully booked, with the Osner Hotel saying it only had four available rooms yesterday while the Regent Hotel and the Premier hotels were fully booked.
The International Convention Centre, where the conference will be held from Thursday to Sunday, is also fully booked.
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Samnkelo Ngwenya said the conference would greatly benefit the city’s economy. “We are obviously pleased with the fact that we are the host city for an event of this magnitude. It talks to our vision of being a destination of choice for events, be it sports or conferences,” he said.
“The spin-offs start way before the conference with those who arrived for preparations in the past week, and as thousands trickle in during the week.”
Ngwenya said they expected the conference to activate a few sectors including the car hire industry, restaurants and township food establishments.
He said that they would create a safe environment for the expected 1 800 delegates.
“We are confident that we are going to pull off a safe, secure and classy event with all the dignitaries that are coming in,” Ngwenya said.
Yesterday, outgoing ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said it was all systems go for the much-anticipated conference.
He said the conference would not be short of intense contests as it was in the DNA of the ANC to contest democratic space.
Mabuyane will go head-to-head with provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle for chairmanship.
Party members have been divided as to who should be elected into the top position – and, by extension, be the Eastern Cape premier, should the ANC retain control of the province in 2019.