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Opinion: Who will be ANC Deputy President ?

According to ANC insiders, the contest for the party's deputy presidency will be split into three groups: strong supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa, candidates linked with the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) faction, and Ramaphosa pragmatists. This third group consists of individuals who are not strictly Ramaphosa supporters but have determined that he is the only sensible option and will hence back him for the time being. The race for the ANC's vice presidency is heating up, with a number of names being touted in the running for the job at the ANC's national conference in December. Paul Mashatile, the party's Treasurer-General, could be the one to depose David Mabuza.

Former ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola and ANC National Executive Committee member Mmamoloko Kubayi are both supporters of Ramaphosa, but defeating the party's treasurer-general, Paul Mashatile, will be a difficult assignment. Mashatile has the advantage in this race because he works full-time at Luthuli House and has been in control of the party's administrative arm since taking over the secretary-post. general's He wields enormous authority within the party, as his administrative function allows him to have the last say on conference verification reports at all levels, from regional to national.

He is, on the other hand, considered as a Ramaphosa pragmatist who has embraced the President for political reasons. The treasurer-general comes from a powerful family in Gauteng, which could benefit him in his campaign and hurt Kubayi's, who is from the same province. Mashatile served as the chairperson of the African National Congress in Gauteng and as the province's premier. He was the Minister of Arts and Culture in the National Executive.

Soweto-born Before joining Parliament in 2009, Kubayi held positions in the ANC Youth League and was a member of the ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee. She served as the chairwoman of the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services. Prior to her current position, she served as an acting minister in five ministries: health, tourism, science and technology, energy, and communications.

Her counterpart, Enoch Godongwana, was recently selected to oversee the ANC's panel on economic change. This is a key position in the party, and it has given her political strength by allowing her to influence how the ANC's economic policy is constructed. While Kubayi's political career has benefited as a result of his new role, it is not guaranteed that he will gain support at the upcoming conference.

Lamola entered the race for the position at the start of the year, when the party was commemorating its 110th anniversary in Polokwane. He makes an appeal to the party's younger generation, who have a strong desire to be recognised by senior party officials.

The ANC's history indicates a pattern of young and active leadership, according to a source who happens to be a Lamola lobbyist, until recent years, when the trend altered. While the source acknowledged that ageism remains an issue, they are certain that the party requires younger leadership. The desire for younger leadership stems from the belief that having a succession plan will benefit the party.

Lamola's interest in the position, according to this lobbyist, has nothing to do with monetary gain because he still runs his own firm, Ndobela Lamola Attorneys. Because they are both from Mpumalanga, if the party's current deputy president, David Mabuza, decides not to run, it might help Lamola's candidacy. Mabuza, on the other hand, should not be dismissed totally. His retirement from provincial politics in Mpumalanga may have harmed his party's reputation, but some close to him believe it is too soon to write him off.

For the time being, he enjoys the support of suspended former Ehlanzeni regional chairwoman Ngrayi Ngwenya, who is keen that Mabuza be re-elected. The RET side, on the other hand, has been unable to properly organise itself at this juncture, with their most notable leader, Jacob Zuma, involved in unending court fights and suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule mired in his own problems.

Lindiwe Sisulu and Zweli Mkhize, members of the NEC, are now attempting to warm up to the grouping, but no clear indication has been given as to which of the two would be willing to run for deputy president. With few potential candidates in their side, a member of the RET grouping admitted they were in a hard place. The grouping has not yet endorsed either Sisulu or Mkhize for the deputy presidency, believing that it would be pointless to do so until they are able to reach an agreement. Ongama Mtimka, a political analyst at Nelson Mandela University, emphasised the importance of the ANC using the next conference as a fresh start.

He believes that the only way to do this is for the party's leadership to be of high calibre. "I believe that all ANC leaders should reflect on themselves and begin to ask themselves what sort of leadership is required for the ANC to lead beyond 2022, rather than answering the issue from the inside out."

South Africans will not give the ANC a chance unless they see that its leadership has changed and that it is now capable of dealing with the problems it has created in the past during its lengthy reign as the dominant party. "South Africans will not trust the new leadership emerging from the 2022 conference if they do not believe it would radically alter the party," he stated.

He claims that the party tries to elect leadership that is relevant to the current moment rather than putting old liberation heroes in charge all of the time. "It's past time for ANC leaders to shift their attention from'my turn to lead, or my turn to eat,' to what's best for the organization's long-term success. "I believe that is the answer, since no one would volunteer to lead if that were the case, especially those who have been there a long time."

It is past time for them to breathe new energy into the ANC and give it a new beginning. Liberation warriors will not provide a fresh start in terms of public opinion. "You need leaders whose claim to fame is achievements within the democratic age rather than some spectacular exploit they want to brag about from a bygone era," he said. Over the weekend, the party will conduct its regional convention in Ekurhuleni.

Sources:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-05-26-fierce-contestation-expected-for-anc-deputy-president-position/

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ANC ANC Youth League Cyril Ramaphosa Paul Mashatile Radical Economic Transformation

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