Hobnobbing with Zuma comes at a cost
The African National Congress’s Progressive Business Forum is set to charge R500,000 for a presidential table of 10 at a banquet to be held on the sidelines of the ANC’s four-day policy conference
As the ANC mulls the "second transition" and a possible new direction for the country’s economy, business men and women will be treated to an up close and personal interaction with Mr Zuma and his Cabinet, but it comes at a cost, reports Business Day.
In addition to the networking lounge, exhibitions and VIP areas — a common feature at ANC conferences — this year’s event hosts a "Brics Colloquium", bringing together business and government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA, the forum said.
Sponsorship packages are on offer. The titanium package costs a cool R500,000, which seats the lucky executive at Mr Zuma’s table — among other benefits.
The R250,000 platinum package will get an influence seeker a table hosted by a Cabinet minister, while a gold package worth R100,000 buys a table with a deputy minister and a silver package with a R50,000 price tag buys a table hosted by an MEC.
That is the cost of first-hand access to key players at the June 26-29 conference that is also a precursor to the ANC’s "watershed" national conference in December, where decisions on the policy talks unfolding next week will be made.
Packages include exhibition space, access to business breakfasts scheduled for the duration of the conference, and access to the VIP lounge — with benefits increasing for those with larger purses.
Benefactors 'may sponsor more than the prescribed package amount should they so wish'.
ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa will deliver the opening address at the colloquium and speakers will include International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Speakers from business bodies and government departments representing Brics countries will also address the colloquium.
President Zuma will deliver a keynote address to a 200-strong business and political audience at a banquet on the last day of the colloquium.
Proceeds from the events organised by the forum go into ANC coffers and may contribute to the funding of centenary celebrations — a coffee table book on the ANC’s 12 presidents would be available for R2,500 at the policy conference.
The ANC’s policy conference begins at Gallagher Estate on Tuesday, June 26 and concludes on June 29.