The ANC in KZN has at least six party members showing interest in contesting Premier Sihle Zikalala’s position as the provincial chairperson.
Those tipped to stand against Zikalala in next week’s ANC provincial elective conference include Treasury MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Community Safety MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, KZN Legislature Chair of Chairs Siboniso Duma, businessman Sandile Zungu and former KZN provincial government director general Nhlanhla Ngidi.
The high number of ANC members willing to take on Zikalala is being viewed by some as a sign that the premier has become vulnerable. However, ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said it was “normal for people to show interest in the party’s top position”.
“Most of these comrades are simply expressing a wish to one day become ANC provincial chairperson. The truth is that most of them will not make it to the ballot. It should be remembered that ANC members need 25% of the province’s branches to endorse them in order to become a candidate.
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“As a result of that stringent requirement, one would not be surprised if the majority of the names currently being mentioned in the media don’t make it to the ballot,” he said.
The provincial conference was scheduled to take place this weekend, but was postponed to next weekend.
Ntombela said the postponement came after the ANC provincial leadership realised that most of the party branches are yet to conclude their candidate nomination processes.
According to ANC conference guidelines, 70% of the province’s branches should successfully conclude their branch general meetings (BGMs) for the conference to sit. So, when the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) realised that the 70% threshold had not yet been reached, it resolved to give branches additional time to conclude their BGMs
While branches have until the end of the weekend to conclude their BGMs, Ntombela said latest reports from the branches showed that the 70% threshold has been reached.
“We should be getting an update from the ANC provincial working committee (PWC) on the progress we have made in regard to the status of readiness for the provincial conference. But the report we have presently informs us that we have enough numbers to proceed with the conference,” he said.
The provincial conference, which forms part of the governing party’s preparations for the national conference scheduled to take place in December, will be held at Durban’s Olive Convention Centre.