Business, Finance & Economics

South Africa News: ANC turns 100


A woman takes a picture of a poster in Bloemfontein on January 5, 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.


Alexander Joe

NAIROBI, Kenya — The African National Congress (ANC) turns 100 this weekend and massive centennial elebrations are planned.

The festivities will be held in Bloemfontein, where the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was founded on January 8, 1912. In 1923, the party was renamed the African National Congress.

The city is the perfect place to celebrate the history of politics in South Africa, said Louwna Erasmus, editor of the local newspaper the Bloemfontein Courant, to South Africa's The Star newspaper. 

“The ANC started here, and so did the National Party. So Bloemfontein is an important part of the history of South Africa,” said Erasmus.

Businesses and residents of Bloemfontein are busily preparing for the upcoming celebrations.

Johannesburg's The Star reports preparation details:

The Mangaung metropolitan municipality has been putting the finishing touches to the streets in preparation for the celebrations.

Workers were emptying dustbins, collecting refuse, cutting lawns, and trimming vegetation.

The gold, green and black colours of the ANC could be seen on almost every lamp-post around town, some drumming up support for the celebrations, and others carrying messages of thanks to Namibia and Zimbabwe for supporting the party during the apartheid years.

The Guardian's correspondent David Smith traces the past glories of South Africa's governing party. 

Anniversary journalism is a mixed bag, but Time's Alex Perry has a good, critical take on the continent's best-known liberation movement, and where it all went wrong.