Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The battle for Gauteng African National Congress deputy chairman is between education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and economic development MEC Lebogang Maile at the provincial conference currently under way in Irene, Tshwane.

Acting provincial chairman David Makhura was elected unopposed in the early hours of Saturday.

More people were initially nominated for the position - Tshepo Zwane, provincial executive committee member Thoko Magagula, and Emfuleni mayor Jacob Khawe. The three declined nomination, leaving Maile and Lesufi to go head to head. Regions such as Tshwane and Ekurhuleni wanted a younger person to take over as Makhura's deputy to ensure ''generational mix'' in the ANC top leadership. 

Of the five regions, Ekurhuleni has the largest delegation at the conference, and could be the kingmaker as to who gets elected into the provincial leadership.

Other nominees for the top five party posts are Khawe and West Rand district municipality mayor Boyce Maneli for secretary. Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, Shaka Radebe, and Rebecca Dikgamela are contesting for deputy secretary, while former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau, Ekuhuleni mayor and chairman Mzwandile Masina, and Ellen Tshabalala vie for treasurer.

Delegates at the conference had begun voting by 4am, election results are expected later on Saturday. 

African News Agency/ANA