As the countdown to the highly anticipated the African National Congress’ (ANC) national conference begins.

Soweto’s small business owners say they are hoping that delegates and members will visit their establishments.

The party’s policy discussion meeting will take place at Nasrec – which is close to the one the country’s oldest townships.

It’s hoped the five day conference will empower township business.

Keabetswe Shabi has been knitting since 2005 she says:

“This business helps me support my children as they are at school. I also sell for tourists because they do support us.”

But Shabi’s hope is to get more local support. The 47-year-old says it’s her only source of income for her family of three.

“It’s my humble request that when the ANC delegates or members come here, they must show support to all of us here because they do art work to feed their families.”

The ruling party’s NEC will hit her home turf, Vilakazi Street, for the first time since the country’s democratic triumph.

Vilakazi Street is ready to cater for them.

Herbert Ndumo a hawker says: “They should buy from us – whether some of us support the ANC or not.”

Another hawker Ntombomzi Sokutu says: “I am expecting more from the ANC since it’s coming here. I think they are going to support the business.”

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