Backers to push for Zikalala premier bid

2018-12-12 15:32
Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala on Friday showed captains of industry and other stakeholders the booklet of investment opportunities that the province had prepared to assist the R100 billion, five-year investment drive launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently.

Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala on Friday showed captains of industry and other stakeholders the booklet of investment opportunities that the province had prepared to assist the R100 billion, five-year investment drive launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently. (Edward West)

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ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala’s supporters are expected to use today’s provincial list conference to consolidate power in the region and pave the way for him to become premier after next year’s polls.

The purpose of the conference is to elect people who will represent the ANC in both the KZN and national legislatures after the national election.

According to sources within the ANC in KZN, the party’s branches, which have sent their representatives to the conference to vote for their preferred candidates, have overwhelmingly endorsed Zikalala, who is expected to garner the most votes at the conference.

“At the moment Zikalala is the most popular leader within the province, even those who were opposed to his election as chairperson during this year’s provincial conference now support him,” a senior ANC leader in the province said.

Initially regarded as former president Jacob Zuma’s staunchest supporter, Zikalala was elected ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson in June after a campaign by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters to get an alternative candidate elected to the top position had flopped.

“The truth of the matter is that there is no longer anything called the Ramaphosa faction in the province. What we now have is only only one faction — the Zikalala faction.

“There is currently an arrangement that Zikalala’s supporters will vote for some of the people who were previously in the Ramaphosa camp to be included in the list,” another source said.

While Zikalala appears to have finally won the battle for the control of the ANC in KZN, he still requires an endorsement from the party’s national top six leadership structure dominated by Ramaphosa supporters for him to become premier.

According to ANC guidelines, the province will send three names to the party’s headquarters from which the national top six leadership will pick its preferred premier candidate.

While there had been some indications that the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) in the province would push hard for Gogta MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to be appointed premier, the campaign appears to be losing steam.

ANCWL provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela said while the ANC provincial women’s wing supported the advancement of women in society, the structure was yet to discuss the premier candidate issue.

“We will in due course make a determination on who to lobby for as women,” she said.

The ANC provincial list conference happens at the back of the release of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) survey showing that the ANC’s support nationally has increased to 56% in the December month, a four percent increase from September’s results which put the party’s support at 52%. The conference takes place at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Durban Steve Biko campus.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sihle zikalala
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