Johannesburg - South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the ruling party’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those that may take up senior government positions after elections.
Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba were ranked second and third respectively after President Jacob Zuma on the African National Congress’s list of candidates nominated as lawmakers, the party said on its website today.
Gordhan was ranked at 13, while Tito Mboweni, the former AngloGold Ashanti chairman who was the central bank governor for a decade through 2009, was 41st on the list.
The ANC’s list is dominated by Zuma loyalists, which may give the president leverage in picking a cabinet of his choice after elections, Nic Borain, a political analyst who advises BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities, said by phone from Cape Town.
“If the ANC underperforms in the elections the party may apply pressure on Zuma, limiting his influence in choosing his cabinet,” he said.
The ANC, which holds almost two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, is facing its toughest election on May 7 since taking power two decades ago.
Opinion polls suggest it may win less than 60 percent of the vote.
Senior party members, including Zuma, have been tainted by corruption allegations, while protests have erupted in several townships across the country as poor, black residents demand houses, water and jobs.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, who’s currently head of the National Planning Commission, were left off the list, indicating their exit from the government.
While Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene wasn’t nominated as one of the 200 potential candidates for parliament, he was picked by KwaZulu-Natal province for the National Assembly.
Mboweni, 54, is a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, the party’s top decision-making body, and involved in the party’s economic policy committee.
He is also non-executive chairman at SacOil and Nampak and an adviser to Goldman Sachs.
“It is not inconceivable that Mboweni may be bolstered into an economic position dealing with the National Development Plan in the presidency given his experience,” Borain said.
The ANC’s list also suggests the return to politics of former Communications Minister Dina Pule, who was suspended and fined by parliament on August 20 after an investigation found she had misspent public funds.
She was ranked at number 70.
The number 37 position went to Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who’s also been implicated by the nation’s corruption ombudsman, Thuli Madonsela, for having wasted taxpayers’ money, an allegation the minister denies.
While Paul Mashatile, the minister of arts and culture, was the only current cabinet minister not appearing on the ANC’s list of parliamentary candidates, he was nominated by the ANC in Gauteng province to the National Assembly.
Mashatile is chairman of the provincial branch, one of three regions that didn’t support Zuma’s re-election as party president in December 2012. - Bloomberg News