LIFESTYLE
18/12/2017 11:48 SAST | Updated 18/12/2017 12:18 SAST

Lekker Braaivleis And Pricey Jackets: What's Inside The ANC Merch Market

When large groups of people gather together for any reason, you can be sure that someone will try to sell them something...

Wearing your colours with pride is a universal way to show off your loyalty to your country, your club or your organisation –– and that applies equally to the ANC.

And wherever groups of people gather in numbers, you can be sure someone will be trying to sell them something. The merchandise market at Nasrec for the ANC's national conference is a jungle-like swamp of green and yellow, in which anti-apartheid struggle songs waft between the opposing blooms of pro-Cyril Ramaphosa and pro-Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma attire.

While the delegates vote for the party leadership inside Nasrec, the market supplies everything from food, clothes, shoes, and even CDs to delegates eager to show where their loyalties lie.

Nkosinathi Shazi

The new era bound to arise in the ANC along with the new leadership has transfused a new energy into the market, with people singing and dancing while purchasing their memorabilia –– it almost felt like a carnival.

HuffPost managed to speak to one of the stall owners, Sbongile Hlongwane, who told us more about the merchandise on sale.

"We sell ANC merchandise –– caps, golf shirts and t-shirts; and we also have jackets that cost R1,500 each. There are also short-sleeved jackets that go for R450. People love buying the dresses and overalls," she said.

Cost of merchandise:

Caps: R100; Golf and T-shirts: R300;

Dress/Overall: R750; Jackets: R1 500.

Nkosinathi Shazi

"The most expensive are the jackets, but people are very supportive because they need it, so they buy it. Our clothes are quality and are certainly worth it," Hlongwane added.

With the conference due to conclude on December 20, people will find most of these markets still active; so Hlongwane's fellow ANC supporters still have time to browse around for merchandise that may appeal to them.

Nkosinathi Shazi

But that's not all. Delegates will also be enjoying the food at Nasrec –– the market has the finest shisanyama and street food, both sit-down or takeaway, for those who want a taste of Soweto. For R40, they can get great "pap en vleis" –– a piece of steak, wors and pap.

The food is certainly the most popular option at the market. There are also several salads like chakalaka, beetroot and potato salad being served to accompany the meat.

Nkosinathi Shazi

While those not involved in the vote counting await the announcement of the ANC's new top six, which will include a new party president and deputy, they can entertain themselves by heading down to the merchandise market to see what's on offer.