Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
ANC members singing and dancing at the ANC provincial conference in East London. Picture: SIBONGILE NGALWA
ANC members singing and dancing at the ANC provincial conference in East London. Picture: SIBONGILE NGALWA

The ANC’s nomination process for the December elective conference is set to kick off in earnest this weekend amid fear over the status of the leadership of two key provinces — KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Branches are spoilt for choice this time, with seven presidential hopefuls in a field that includes ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa; President Jacob Zuma’s preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.

The governing party’s branches received instructions this week on how the nomination process works. They were urged to take leadership selection "very seriously".

The party’s 4,300 branches are set to nominate individuals for the party’s top six positions and its 80-member national executive committee. Branches will weigh in on whether the party should amend its constitution to include a second deputy president and are also expected to consider whether the party can have one deputy secretary-general or two.

"The responsibility lies with you to nominate the best among us to lead the ANC and the nation…. We have been weakened by factionalism, slate politics, vote buying and other negative practices that deliver leaders who are not all up to the task of leading this great movement," the instructions said.

The guidelines stipulate that for a candidate to obtain a nomination by a branch, he or she must receive the highest number of votes for that post.

The nominations are then photographed and sent to the party’s electoral commission, while the original forms are placed in an envelope and submitted to the provincial leadership to be consolidated at provincial general councils.

But the party’s two largest provinces are grappling with the status of their leadership structures. The KwaZulu-Natal provincial leadership was found by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg judge to be illegal, while the Eastern Cape emerged from a chaotic elective conference at the weekend.

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