'ANC can't afford not to elect a woman as deputy president' - Mmamoloko Kubayi launches campaign bid

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Mmamoloko Kubayi at the launch of her ANC deputy president campaign in Soweto.
Mmamoloko Kubayi at the launch of her ANC deputy president campaign in Soweto.
  • ANC NEC member Mmamoloko Kubayi has been endorsed by her ANC branch in Protea South Soweto to contest the deputy president position at the ANC's elective conference in December. 
  • Kubayi said she would accept the nomination once it was formally made. 
  • The former ANC Youth League member said she was more than capable to serve in the party's top six. 

ANC NEC member Mmamoloko Kubayi is firmly in the running to contest the ANC deputy presidency position.

The minister of human settlements believes 2022 must be the watershed year where women make up 50% representation in the ANC top six. 

Her supporters on Saturday strongly believed her hometown ANC branch in Protea South, Soweto, would be the perfect launch pad for her campaign for ANC deputy president.

Kubayi was ushered into the ANC Women's League event with an honour guard of women dressed in full ANC regalia and carrying the party's flag, while singing struggle songs. 

The event was dubbed a women's month commemoration. 

READ | December conference: ANC Youth League should back former members Lamola and Kubayi, says convenor

However, it was used mainly to announce Kubayi's endorsement as deputy president of the ANC when the party heads to its elective conference in December. 

The theme of "breaking down patriarchal relations" was fitting for the occasion, with each speaker linking their message to the need for a gender-diverse ANC leadership. 

The ANC Johannesburg ANC young women's desk leader Pinkie Numa announced Kubayi's endorsement saying the ANC had no gender mix in its top six. 

She said Kubayi had the capacity sought by the ANC. 

Numa said:

Even though they say that the top six is not a structure, the top six sits and discusses and recommends to the NWC, but they sit alone as men making decisions that impact us women.

"That is why we are saying unashamedly, '... comrade, go and represent us in that top six. Comrade, if it is capacity they are looking for, then surely, they cannot fault you on that'," she added. 

The leader of the Moloto Tambane ANC branch said Kubayi was more than capable of helping the party achieve economic transformation. 

ANC top six 50% representation 

While Kubayi stopped shy of placing herself at the centre of the party's struggles to select women to powerful positions, she said 2022 had to be the watershed year that changed the party's leadership to reflect the country's demographics. 

She said the ANC could not go around demanding women's representation in the private sector while the party struggled to elect women in enough numbers in the top six. 

Kubayi said the ANC elective conferences this year had not lived up entirely to gender representation. 

She acknowledged Gauteng as one of the few provinces that had three women elected in the provincial executive top five. 

Kubayi said on Saturday:

The ANC cannot afford not to have a women deputy president. That is a principle, and even if it is not Khensani in the top six, the ANC cannot afford not to have 50% of the top six as women. You look at the demographic of this country, and you see women. Yes, the issue of deputising is an issue, but it would be the first.

Lobbying taking steam 

Those driving Kubayi's campaign said she had been lobbied since February by high-ranking ANC members who believed she had the potential. 

A suggestion that she run for the deputy secretary-general position was touted. 

But backers believed she was capable of a bigger role which would allow her to remain serving in the government. 

This was when the idea of her running as deputy president gained steam, Kubayi's campaigners told News24. 

Lobbying for her support was gaining momentum in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and possibly Limpopo branches.

READ | Men dominating elections at ANC conferences have left women asking, 'Why must we always be deputies?'

In her acknowledgement of the challenging journey ahead as the ANC's nomination process is set to open in the coming weeks, Kubayi said if nominated, she would accept. 

"I will accept the nomination when the time arrives when it is made. No branch has nominated me formally, but my branch has said they want to start the process so we can go. Those who say they support me will have to crisscross the country. It is not only my branch. There are several supporters. We believe there is a chance for us to be able to contest, and we will take that stride," Kubayi said. 

"As a true cadre of the movement, I have served the ANC, and I grew up in this movement. I do not think there is one thing anyone can say that prohibits me [from accepting] the nomination when that time arrives".

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