KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman Sihle Zikalala. File photo: ANA/Motshwari Mofokeng

Durban - After much speculation suggesting that KZN ANC chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, may not get the premiership position in KZN as he did not support President Cyril Ramaphosa at Nasrec in 2017, he will be ascending to the hot seat soon.

Zikalala who is currently the MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, was a short while ago confirmed by Luthuli House as the party's KZN premiership candidate and with the party holding 44 of the 80 seats at the KZN legislature, his election is a done deal. 

Announcing its premiership candidates in seven provinces, the party said in arriving at its decision, its national executive committee was guided by gender parity requirements, unity, stability in its structures, youth and intergenerational mix, experience and integrity.

A few days ago, a senior provincial executive member and a Ramaphosa confidant in the province, told Independent Media that Zikalala was going to get the nod as he was being moved away from the orbit of former ANC president, Jacob Zuma, who is believed to be using him to control structures of the party in the province. The member also said with the province coming "out of a difficult time of infighting", they met with Ramaphosa and pleaded with him to appoint Zikalala in order to avoid two centres of power and subsequently instability within their structures. 

The other nominated premier candidates are:
• Eastern Cape – Oscar Mabuyane 
• Free State – Sisisi Ntombela
• Gauteng – David Makhura
• Limpopo – Stan Mathabatha
• Mpumalanga – Refilwe Mtsweni
• Northern Cape  - Zamani Saul

The party said the candidate for North West premiership will be announced at a later date "following internal engagements". 

Political Bureau