Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League has opened the debate on the ANC's elective congress next year by saying it will, in principle, support a female president.
The ANC needed a leadership change, ANCYL leader Collen Maine told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Whether the candidate was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, or ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini, the youth league would vote for change.
"We support the call for a woman president, in principle. That call we support, but Dlamini-Zuma is not the only female in the ANC. Dlamini can be a president. We agree there must be a change," he said.
The ANCYL called for an overhaul of the party's leadership. It said its mother body needed to allow for two full-time deputy secretary generals in the current "top six".
Maine said there was a need for younger voices in the ANC national executive committee (NEC). He said 66% of the country´s population was made up of young people. Currently, with only two NEC members representing the youth, they did not have a strong enough voice in the ANC's leadership.
"We are convinced the ANC in its current form will not be able to defeat its challenge. We must help the ANC. South Africa is a young country that must find expression in the ANC leadership."