16/12/2017 05:37 SAST | Updated 16/12/2017 08:15 SAST

ANC Conference: Everything You Should Expect On Day One

A business breakfast with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, an opening address by President Jacob Zuma and perhaps a song or two.

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A general view of the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

The first day of the ANC's National Conference will set the tone for Sunday's big announcement of the ruling party's new top dogs on Sunday.

It will be a busy day for the thousands of delegates attending the five-day long event, the highlight of the schedule being the nominations for the party's top-structure leadership.

Saturday morning will start with a progressive business forum breakfast (one will be held at the beginning of each day) headlined by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaks to members of the media after delivering his medium term budget speech in Parliament, in Cape Town, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

We expect Gigaba will spin his usual rhetoric and highlight the need for radical socioeconomic transformation, the dismantling of concentration in the ownership of the economy and the importance of roping in investors.

President Jacob will then deliver the opening address to the more than 5,000 delegates expected to be in attendance. Zuma may keep to a similar tone as with his opening remarks at the ANC's policy conference in June: issues of unity in the party, factionalism and slate politics are bound to be on the front pages of his speech.


Perhaps there will be a rendition of Zuma's favourite ballad, "Umshini Wami", at the close of his speech.

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President of ANC Jacob Zuma dances and sings with the crowd his popular song 'Umshini WAMI' at the ANC 96th anniversary rally in Atteridgeville, January, 2008. (PABALLO THEKISO/AFP/Getty Images)

There will be a three-and-a-half-hour closed session starting at midday after which delegates will begin the nomination process for the ANC's top six (or eight, depending if the constitution changes).

The electoral commission will oversee the process.

Another closed session thereafter will bring day one to an end.