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Key KZN ANC region wants Zikalala as chairperson ahead of elective conference

As it stands there’s no clear consensus among 11 regions in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of next month’s provincial elective conference.

File Picture: Sihle Zikalala. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Durban - The General Gizenga Mpanza region (KwaDukuza) of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has nominated incumbent Sihle Zikalala as its candidate for chairperson of the province ahead of next month’s provincial elective conference.

Zikalala is likely to face off against Nomusa Dube, the KZN MEC for Finance, and businessman Sandile Zungu.

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As it stands, there is no clear consensus among the eleven regions in the province, but previous ANC conferences, provincially and nationally, have shown that while discussions take place in the build-up, things can’t be taken at face value. There are always twists and turns before leaders are announced.

Bheka Dlamini, deputy chairperson in the General Gizenga Mpanza region (Kwadukuza), said that the regional executive committee had received feedback from branches. They would be nominating Zikalala as chairperson, Kwazi Mshengu (MEC for education) as deputy chairperson and incumbent Mdumiseni Ntuli as provincial secretary.

He said with regards to other provincial leadership positions, including deputy provincial secretary and treasurer, they would engage with other regions.

The powerful eThekwini region is campaigning for Zandile Gumede, the chairperson in the region and former mayor, to be treasurer.

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“We have just finished our regional conferences and we are still engaging.

“There are 11 regions and we must engage with, and persuade, each other until we reach a consensus,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said the party had lost ground in the previous elections and it was important to look at how it was viewed by society through analysing and engaging as a region.

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“The ANC in KZN is at its weakest point in terms of the confidence of the electorate. If you make changes now and bring changes in leadership just two years before general elections, that could be detrimental.

“We want to bring back the confidence, unite the ANC and regain lost trust. We need leadership that is tried and tested and who will embark on a strategic turning point to save the ANC.

“It is crucial that the ANC in KZN and Gauteng is intact. If there is no stability in KZN, there is grave danger.”

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He said both candidates had shown leadership as the province struggled with Covid-19, the July unrest, unemployment challenges and instability in the Shembe church. Mshengu represented new blood which was needed in the party.

“We as regions have to (convince the) provincial executive committee that the most important task after the July conference is a united ANC in KZN. We believe we should have a representative in the Top Six of the ANC. We cannot be in a position like Nasrec (ANC’s 2017 national elective conference) where more than three candidates were submitted and the divisions saw no representative from this province in the Top Six.”

Dlamini said it was crucial that all regions “rally behind one name” to put forward to be in the Top Six.

“There is an agenda to divide KZN politically and to ensure it doesn’t have influence at the December national elective conference,” Dlamini said.

“We have go to that December conference united behind one person.”

THE MERCURY

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