Durban – Although the ANC is still not certain whether it will retain some metros since they are hung and they need coalition partners to help them snatch power, the battle for mayoral positions in metros is gaining momentum.
In some metros like eThekwini (Durban) in KwaZulu-Natal, two factions have fielded their candidates. The pro CR17 faction has fielded Thabani Nyawose to unseat outgoing mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda. This is while the pro-Zandile Gumede faction has fielded her long-time confidant, Zama Sokhabase, to run for the position.
The Gumede faction had initially wanted another Zandile Gumede ally, Nkosenhle Madlala, to run for the position and they wanted Thembo Ntuli, another loyalist to become the deputy mayor.
This is while in other metros like Tshwane, their regional chairperson and strongman, Kgosi Maepa has been elbowed out of the race. The three candidates running for the mayoral position are Frans Boshielo, Rebecca Morudi and Simphiwe Mbatha, a nemesis of Maepa who once accused him of abusing her.
It has since emerged that in the Johannesburg metro in Gauteng, the current mayor, Mpho Moerane, who is not even a month into office after replacing the late Jolide Matongo, will face stiff competition from Eunice Mgcina and Dada Morero, the regional secretary of the ANC in the greater Johannesburg region.
For Morero to ascend to the top job in the region, permission will have to be sought from the ANC in Gauteng and from Luthuli House to allow him to leave his full-time position at the regional headquarters.
In the nearby Ekurhuleni metro where the ANC was governing through a shaky coalition, the battle will be between the outgoing mayor and ANC regional chairperson, Mzwandile Masina, his deputy, Jongizizwe Dlabathi and Nomadlozi Nkosi, the chairperson of the ANC Women’s League in the region.
The spokesperson of the ANC in Gauteng said they cannot give out an official list as they only have nominees from regions and some of the nominees may fall away if they fail the vetting and qualifications verification process.
In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape, the race was also heating up with Makhi Feni, who holds an LLB Degree, being the likely candidate the ANC will field against the DA’s Nqaba Bhanga. The other competitors against Feni are Buyelwa Mafaya, Eugene Johnson and Wandisile Jikeka.
In the other metro in the province, Buffalo City mayor Xola Pakathi will be fighting against former ANC MP, Humphrey Maxegwana and Princess Faku, whom party insiders claimed while she has the political clout, her lack of post-matric qualifications would scupper her chances.
It was not yet clear who was going to run against Mxolisi Siyinzana for the mayoral position of Mangaung (Bloemfontein), and it was not clear whether the ANC will even attempt to field a candidate in the Cape Town metro where they have dismally failed three local government election to unseat the DA.