Business People Invited To Dine With President At ANC Gala Dinner

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The ANC has taken its gala dinner prices up a notch and will now charge business people R1.2m to rub shoulders with re-elected ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa during the party’s 111th anniversary celebrations.

The event (which will precede the party’s January 8 rally) will be held on January 7 in the Sand du Plessis Theatre marble foyer in Markgraaf Street, Bloemfontein.

The ANC’s cash source, the Progressive Business Forum (PBF), stands to rake in, at the very least, R3m from three tables, where senior party leaders will sit with business people, and seats for business people to mingle with Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) members, MECs and mayors.

If business people wish to meet either ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile, or Deputy President in government David Mabuza, they will have have to shell out “R1m a table” on what the ANC refers to as the “platinum” package.

It’s not clear who business people will meet between Mashatile and Mabuza, or if they will meet both, as there are currently two centres of power in the deputy presidency.

Ramaphosa is expected to announce a new deputy president in a Cabinet reshuffle and, in line with ANC tradition, it’s likely to be Mashatile.

Although he sent the Cape Argus the correct link to the Presidential golf day flyer, PBF convener Sipho Mbele did not respond to queries which sought clarity on who business people would meet between Mashatile and Mabuza, and whether these meetings be fertile ground for state capture.

The PBF’s other packages on offer for the January 8 Statement are:

Nickel – R10 000 per seat with PEC Members/mayors

• Bronze – R15 000 per seat with PEC Officials/MECs

• Silver – R30 000 per seat with Deputy Ministers and NEC members

• Gold – R760 000 per table with ANC officials, Free State provincial convenor, Ministers and Premier.

Furthermore, the PBF will host a Presidential golf day with Ramaphosa on January 6 at the Bloemfontein Golf Club, where, as the golf saying goes, business people can “drive for show and putt for dough”.

Registration, or “green fees”, will set back each player by R2 500.

The forum’s annual packages – which range from silver (R5 000), gold (R10 000), platinum (R15 000), diamond (R33 000) and honorary (R65 000) offer “invitations to ministerial briefings and business matchmaking opportunities”, participation in international trade missions, round table discussions, invitations to meetings with Mbele and “exclusive dinners with ANC leaders”.

The PBF, on its website, carries a message “to broaden your reach”.

Those who subscribe to the packages are promised invites “to ministerial and political briefings aimed at promoting honest, frank and open dialogue between the business community and ANC leaders in government”.

“It is important for government to appreciate the impact of policy on business, and vice versa for business to have a sense of the objectives, direction and challenges that government faces,” the forum writes on its website.

“Through developing a better understanding of each other’s challenges and concerns, common ground can be developed to achieve a shared economic objective,” it reads.

The forum describes the gala dinners and its business summits as debates and discussions among business organisations, business leaders, politicians, economists, academics and others “on what needs to be done” to see to it that progress is made in “achieving the objective of stimulating economic growth in a manner that addresses poverty and inequality”.

At a recent gala dinner before the elective conference in Nasrec, business people were required to pay R500 000 to dine Ramaphosa.

Mbele recently told a My Vote Counts webinar that the Political Party Funding Act was “constraining” the funding space and he called for the new legislation to be amended.

Attempts to reach My Vote Counts spokesperson Sheilan Clarke drew a blank.

Source Cape Argus

A Journalist, writer and photographer

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