Mkhize hints on ANC manifesto

Zweli Mkhize says growing the economy, creating jobs and supporting small business will be key focuses.

ANC President Jacob Zuma and ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize has given strong hints of what will be contained in the party's election manifesto which is scheduled to be released tonight and tomorrow.

President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to address a rally in Mbombela tomorrow and unveil the party's plans and election promises.

Mkhize says growing the economy, supporting small business development and creating jobs will feature prominently.

He says education, health and fighting crime and corruption will also remain priorities.

Mkhize says the party is also ready to deal with criticism over the R200 million upgrades at Zuma's private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.

He says the party has discussed the issues quite a lot and believe certain issues need to be separated.

"Firstly, the president is entitled to the security upgrade. There was a process that was followed and things went wrong. We must isolate those issues and deal with those who are involved in the irregularities."

Mkhize also says they don't have any major concerns around possible booing in the stadium despite reports that suggest the party has been hard at work to make sure Zuma is not embarrassed again.

Zuma was booed during former president Nelson Mandela's memorial service at the FNB Stadium last month.

The president appears to be popular in Mpumalanga and the ANC has an overwhelming majority in that province.

Meanwhile, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the new manifesto won't be radically different from the party's previous documents.

"We'll be building on what we've done over the last five years because we're not doing manifestos on the bases of no budgeting. If we've done work on education, it's a work in progress that must be completed."

ZUMA'S 'VOTE BOMB'

Earlier this week, Zuma said the ANC would rule forever whether people liked it or not.

Zuma made the comments during a door-to-door campaign in Mpumalanga, saying those who thought the ANC would lose votes this year were dreaming.

"We will continue to run this government forever and ever, whether they like it or not."

He reportedly made the statement in isiZulu at the Kanyamazane township.

Opposition parties have slammed him for these remarks.