The new ANC leader, who will be elected by branches and other structures on Sunday, will have his work cut out as he will have to try to mend fences and reconcile all factions in a divided house.
This was the warning of Prof. Bheki Mngomezulu from the University of the Western Cape ahead of the results of the new party leader with his Top Seven leadership.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is in a battle with Dr Zweli Mkhize for the control of the party.
However, divisions in the party have been glaring with different groups pushing for their preferred candidates.
Mngomezulu said it will be tough to foster unity and the new leader will have to work hard to ensure the party is united in the build-up to the next elections in 2024.
“Whoever emerges victorious will have his work cut out because these divisions are far from over. Whoever emerges will have to bring the two factions together,” said Mngomezulu.
He said the divisions played out in the provinces with Limpopo, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and North West also beginning to back different candidates after some of their leaders were involved in horse-trading.
Mngomezulu said it was not going to be easy to end the divisions after the conference in Nasrec on Tuesday.
“It is not going to be easy at all because these divisions are deeply entrenched as they start from the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee, the Provincial Executive Committees, the regions and branches. This is going to affect the party because what happens is a build up to 2024 and there is not enough time for the ANC to regroup,” said Mngomezulu.