SABC News.com - Mixed feelings after Centenary celebrations:Monday 9 January 2012

Mixed feelings after Centenary celebrations

Monday 9 January 2012 09:21

SABC

President Jacob Zuma Addressing the crowds in Bloemfontein.

President Jacob Zuma Addressing the crowds in Bloemfontein.(SABC)

African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma yesterday delivered his January the 8th statement as the high point of the celebrations in Bloemfontein. During his lengthy speech, the President traced the movement's long history from its formation to the consolidation of democracy.

Zuma lauded men, women, youth, church leaders, and foreign countries who helped liberate the country. Moving forward, President Zuma said the party would stamp out factionalism and revitalise grassroots structures.  He urged South Africans to start a dialogue on the future of the country.

The ANC Centenary celebrations were attended by present and former heads of state from across the globe, mostly from Africa.  Ministers, premiers and labour organisations were also in attendance. Those who went to Mangaung, say the event was a huge success.

ANC's centenary celebrations were a hugely expensive spectacle designed to drug people against their own oppression and dis-empowerment

Meanwhile, the Unemployed People's Movement (UPM) said the ANC's centenary celebrations were a hugely expensive spectacle designed to drug people against their own oppression and dis-empowerment.

"The celebrations are being used to persuade the people that a movement that has betrayed the people is our government," UPM chairperson Ayanda Kota said in a statement.

"Since 1994 there hasn't been a reorganisation of the economy. The commanding heights of the economy continue to reside in the hands of a tiny elite... Unemployment is skyrocketing. Most young people have never worked."

If things were getting better, even if they were getting better slowly, people might be willing to be patient, said Kota. - Additional reporting by Sapa.

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