Durban - As KwaZulu-Natal ANC delegates gathered at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban to begin their two-day provincial general council the provincial leadership expressed optimism that its preferred presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will emerge at the national conference.
More than 800 delegates from various branches across the province converged for the PGC to finalise preparations for the national conference which takes place in Johannesburg between December 16 and 20.
The PGC will also pronounce on the preferred list of leaders to occupy the rest of the parties top six and its national executive committee.
ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete is expected to address the PGC.
As a sign of resounding support for Dlamini Zuma, delegates are singing that “the capital monopoly is white”, which is opposed to the ANC’s view that the capital monopoly is colourless.
The majority of the ANC branches in KwaZulu-Natal are believed to have nominated Dlamini Zuma, although deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had proven to have enjoyed support in northern part of the province.
According to provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli’s unofficial statistics showed Dlamini Zuma had been nominated by 496 branches, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa by 175 and ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize by only six.
National statistics showed that Ramaphosa enjoyed support from seven provinces that have held their PGCs. He had been nominated by 1 305 while Dlamini Zuma has 987 in those provinces. But this number could change when KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo conclude their PGCs.
Ntuli said the province was not panicking by seeing numbers from other provinces.
“The majority of the branches in our province do not have one delegate. They would have three, four, seven delegates.
“Anybody between now and Friday who focuses on the statistics of BGMs would miss the point on the actual numbers that would be supporting a particular comrade. Therefore we are not worried about the BGM outcomes,” said Ntuli.
He said even though Dlamini Zuma seemed to be lagging behind in terms of the BGM national outcomes, “it is not going to have an impact on voting delegates who are going to be supporting her”.
Dlamini Zuma is also pinning her hopes on the support of the ANC Women’s and Youth leagues.
he ANC Veterans League have indicated their support for Ramaphosa.
The leagues will make up 10% of voting delegates at the national conference.
“Each league has 60 delegates. We are looking intensely on what the veterans league would decide. Whatever decision the veterans make we know that the portion of it should support Nkosazana while others would support Cyril,” he said.
He said there would be intense lobbying to change the minds of delegates away from what had been decided by their branches.
“There is always going to exchanges between comrades and among comrades at the conference persuading each other for this candidate or that candidate. We are not at all concerned because that is a game we are use to,” said Ntuli.