Johannesburg – The ANC hopes to pack Orlando Stadium to the rafters on Sunday when it celebrates its 105th birthday, but some tweeps have other ideas with the hashtag #DontFillUpOrlando trending in South Africa on Friday morning.

A hawker sells ANC regalia on the famed Vilakazi Street in Orlando West ahead of the ruling party’s 105th birthday bash at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Picture: Itumeleng English

About 800 buses have been hired to shuttle supporters to the stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate 40 000 people. The buses are also expected to transport party members from Mpumalanga, Free State and North West.

The party is also not risking any security breaches. There will be a heavy police presence, which will include Joburg metro police and 2 000 additional security marshals.

Early this week, ANC head of the organising committee Fikile Mbalula said overflow plans were already in place. He said those who won’t make it inside Orlando will be sent to a nearby rugby stadium.

It will be President Jacob Zuma’s last January 8 statement as president of the party, after he indicated he would not stand for re-election.

Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday that ANC leaders had been criss-crossing Gauteng to encourage people to come to Orlando Stadium, saying it was part of their actions to listen to the concerns of the electorate, particularly those with certain dissatisfactions about the governing party.

He maintained the party was still hoping for maximum attendance at Orlando Stadium after experiencing poor attendance at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium during the national launch of the ANC local government elections manifesto in April last year.

The ANC failed to fill the 46 000-seater stadium after promising that more than 100 000 people would attend.

We expect to fill Orlando Stadium. We always plan to fill stadiums. We like filling stadiums and overflow areas. If that doesn’t happen we get disappointed ourselves, and that’s what we are working for at Orlando Stadium.”

But since Thursday people on Twitter gave reasons to not attend the ANC’s Soweto bash.

The Orlando Stadium gates will open at 7am on Sunday and proceedings start at 10am.

– The Star and IOL

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