The African National Congress (ANC) has embarked on extensive preparations in the past two years for the centenary celebrations.
The celebrations are to mark the 100 years of selfless struggle by the people of South Africa under the leadership of the ANC in its pursuit for freedom, democracy and unity of all South Africans towards an order of entrenched.
We are now, as of today, 60 days away from the anticipated January 08 celebration to commemorate the birth of the oldest and surviving liberation movement in the continent and African diaspora.
The year-long ANC centenary celebrations, will be kick-started at the founding place of the ANC 100 years ago in Waaihoek, Mangaung, in the Free State Province. The weekend long activities will be spread from Friday. 6 to Sunday, 8 January 2012.
On the 6th January there will be a golf day event that will be hosted at two golf courses. It will culminate a prize giving by some of the ANC leaders.
On the evening of the 6th January 2012, the ANC will then host an interfaith night vigil to invoke the spirits of all our founding fathers and mothers of our movement. This very important event will be attended by Kings, Chiefs and Traditional Leaders and healers will also include the leaders of the African National Congress and our allied partners.
On the day of the 7th January 2012, there will be intercultural celebrations, showcasing the abundance and diversity of our proud South African national cultures. This activity, which will be staged for over a 6-hour period, will be held at the Mangaung Rocklands outdoor Sports complex.
The evening of the 7th January 2012 will be dedicated to a Presidential centennial gala dinner at the Free State's Vista University. This gala dinner, hosted by our President Jacob Zuma. In attendance of this dinner will also be leadership of the ANC, Alliance partners, Leagues, traditional healers, our stalwarts and veterans. A limited number of our international guests will attend the dinner.
The main celebration of the 100 years of the ANC will be held on January 08 2012 at the Mangaung Rugby stadium. Overflow venues will be fitted with screens at the Cricket Oval stadium, Lochlogan grounds (Macufe venue) and Athletic stadium.
We expect over 120 000 people to fill up all the venues for the main 100 years celebration activities from the afternoon to the evening of the 8th. As usual the highlight will be President Cde. Jacob Zuma's delivery of the NEC Centenary statement.
An ANC musical special stage production will end the days programme and bring closure to the start of ANC's year-long centennial celebrations.
The year-long celebrations will take place throughout the year 2012 with monthly events that will be spread in all Provinces. Various Presidents General and Presidents of the ANC, the collectives that led the ANC as well as the issues of the times will be highlighted in these lectures and the debates that they will generate.
The month of January will be celebrated in the Free State Province and will focus on the legacy of the first President of the ANC, uBaba uLangalibalele John Dube (Mafukuzela) who presided over the ANC from 1912-1917. President General Dube and the collective that served with him will be celebrated and remembered under the theme "100 years of Selfless Struggles".
The month of February 2012 will celebrate the life of President General Sefako Mapogo Makgatho and the collective that led the ANC with him from 1917 - 1924. The life and times of President Makgatho will be celebrated under the theme " From Colonialism to Democratic Dispensation". The celebration will be in Western Cape province
The month of March 2012 will celebrate the life of President General Zacharias R. Mahabane who led the ANC from 1924 - 1927, and was re-elected again in 1936 - 1940. The theme to remember Mahabane and his collective will be "All shall have equal rights". Celebrations will take place in Mpumalanga.
The month of April 2012 will honour the President General of the ANC, Cde Josiah Tshangana Gumede who served as the President of the ANC from 1927 - 1930. The celebration will be under the theme " The people shall govern", which is our national month to mark the first democratic elections in South Africa. Celebrations will take place in Kwa Zulu-Natal.
The month of May 2012 will honour the legacy of Pixley KaIsaka Seme as the President General of the ANC from 1930 - 1936. His legacy will be celebrated under the theme "Workers and the struggle for liberation." Celebrations will take place in Eastern Cape.
The month of June 2012 will pay tribute to the Presidency of Albert Bitini Xuma who was the President General of the ANC from 1940 - 1949. It will be celebrated under the theme "The doors of learning and culture shall be opened." Celebrations will take place in Gauteng.
The month of July 2012 will pay tribute to the President of the ANC Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela. He led the collective leadership of the ANC as President from period 1991-1997. This living world-renowned icon will be celebrated under the theme "Building a caring nation". Celebrations will take place in Limpopo.
The month of August will remember ANC President General James Sebe Moroka who served the ANC for the period 1949 - 1952. His contribution will be acknowledged under the theme "Women and the struggle for liberation". Celebrations will take place in North West.
The month of September 2012 will acknowledge President General Chief Albert Luthuli. He served the movement from 1952 - 1967. He will be acknowledged under the theme "African Heritage and Art". Celebrations will take place in Northern Cape.
The month of October 2012 will pay homage to President Oliver Tambo. Tambo served the movement for a record breaking period since 1967 - 1991. He will be saluted for his unprecedented dedicated leadership under the theme "International Solidarity". Having been entrusted by the ANC with the complex challenge to open up its external mission, he set off into the world and mobilised it to support our people's struggle. Celebrations will take place in all provinces, with a focus in Gauteng.
The month of November 2012 will pay respect to President Thabo Mbeki who served the movement from 1997 - 2007. He will be remembered under the theme "Let a 100 flowers blossom." Celebrations will take place in all provinces, with a focus in 'Western Cape.
The month of December 2012 will honour our current President Jacob Zuma. He started serving the movement since 2007 and is still the president of the ANC and people of South Africa. Zuma will be saluted under the theme " Peace, freedom and security." Celebrations will take place in all provinces, with a focus in Free State.
A lot has been done in the past two years to prepare ourselves for the celebration of our 100 years. A National Centenary Task Team (NCTT) was formed whilst in all the Provinces and Regions, Provincial Centenary Task Teams and Regional Centenary Task Teams were established.
In these structures that are seized with the preparatory work for the year long celebrations as well as the mobilizations of all South Africans. People in the continent, as well as people in the world over will also be part of our 100 years anniversary activities.
We have also commissioned work on the writing of the history of the ANC by Comrade Marc Maharaj and Comrade Pallo Jordan. We expect the book to be ready for publication before the end of the centennial year.
We are proud to pronounce that a lot of work has been put into this by our Provincial structures such that the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and North West have already launched their 2012 ANC centennial celebrations chapters. The remaining provinces of Gauteng, Northern and Western Cape as well as Limpopo will launch their chapters next month.
At the international level we have already addressed the Heads of States of the African Union through our President in January 2011. We are also proud to have been given an opportunity by the United Nations to address them on our Centenary, the occasion in which the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, proudly declared that "The ANC is more than a political party.
It is a movement-and a tangible expression of a vision. The commitment and sacrifice of its members led to the emancipation of a nation from a racist colonial rule. This has always been the movement's strength and it is this vision that the world looks to now. The struggle for freedom, justice, human rights and against racism is a global battle. I see the ANC in the vanguard. Not just in South Africa but throughout the continent and the globe."
We have undertaken visits to many countries including Germany, Russia as well as the United States of America to mobilize our friends and allies who were also part of the International anti-apartheid movement. Apart from welcoming centenary coordinating structures in those countries as well as the support that those coordinating structures will give to the ANC, we will also use the opportunity to thank the International community for the support it has given to the people of South Africa and the ANC.
As part of our programme in 2012 we will host an International Solidarity Conference where former anti-apartheid organisations and individuals throughout the world will converge on our soil to craft a way forward.
We are also aware that at an ANC-led government level, our country will in May 2012 host a conference to be attended by the African Diaspora. We are proud that this event will take place when we celebrate our 100 years.
As we celebrate the centenary of the ANC we want the broad society of South Africa o join in and be part of the celebrations because the legacy of the ANC is the legacy of the people of South Africa!.
Let us intensify our commitment and resolve of 'Unity in Diversity'. A South African nation will be born if we are all committed to this founding value of our people who were the true midwives of the ANC and the freedom it led us into.