Durban - African National Congress (ANC) members in the Moses Mabhida region have thrown their weight behind Sihle Zikalala, saying he is the ideal candidate for the position of provincial chairperson.
With the ANC provincial elective conference two weeks away, there is intense lobbying in ANC branches by the Zikalala team and campaigners for Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who is also contesting the position of chairperson. Ruling party members attending a youth day lecture in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, where Zikalala delivered the keynote address, said they would vote for him at the conference.
ANC Youth League member Nonsikelelo Ngubane said they were supporting Zikalala because of his support for youth development. “We have seen the many initiatives that he has come up with in order to improve conditions for young people, and we believe that he still has a lot to offer,” said the youth league member.
Another ANC member from the region, Alex Ngcobo, expressed the belief that Zikalala still had more to offer as chairperson. “At this point in time, comrade Sihle still has what it takes to lead us, and that is why we will be backing him at the conference,” Ngcobo insisted.
Party members said they wanted Zikalala, Kwazi Mshengu as deputy chairperson, and Mdumiseni Ntuli as provincial secretary. The General Gizenga Mpanza Region in the KZN north coast also made a similar choice a few weeks ago.
The Moses Mabhida region, which is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding towns, is one of the largest regions and has, in the past, played a decisive role in determining who emerges victorious at elective conferences.
The position of provincial chairperson is regarded as crucial in the ANC, as the incumbent usually becomes the premier of the province, as illustrated by Sbu Ndebele, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Senzo Mchunu and Zikalala. The provincial conference will be held in Durban in July.