Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

After almost two decades of waiting, Cyril Ramaphosa has finally made it to the top spot in the ANC. He beat his opponent, former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The result was close: Ramaphosa won 2,440 of the 4,708 votes cast, against Dlamini-Zuma's 2,261.

The 4,708 votes cast represented 99% of the 4,776 credentials adopted.

The rand was quoted at R12.57/$ immediately after the announcement, from a previous close of R12.96. 

The currency, which had enjoyed a “Ramaphosa rally” in the run-up to the elective conference, strengthened considerably in the hour before the announcement. From a level of R12.80/$ at 5.32pm, it reached a best level of R12.52 in the moments before the announcement shortly before 7pm. But it later gave back some of those gains, to trade at a still-strong R12.68/$.

Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza was elected deputy president of the party. 

Long road

Ramaphosa was elected the ANC’s secretary-general in 1991 and was head of the party’s negotiations commission at the Convention for a Democratic SA (Codesa). The former trade unionist was touted to be late former president Nelson Mandela’s deputy and his eventual successor, but he lost out to Thabo Mbeki.

In 1996 he resigned from the position of secretary-general and from Parliament. There was speculation that this was because he had been overlooked to be Mandela’s second in command.

Ramaphosa returned to the ANC’s top six leadership at the party’s 2012 Mangaung conference on President Jacob Zuma’s slate as his deputy.

Ramaphosa’s election as president of the ANC will be a welcome relief for the markets and should result in the rand strengthening.

It is expected that Zuma’s future as state president will be one of the first issues the new leadership will have to deal with. After that, the new ANC leaders will have to focus on cleaning up government institutions and state-owned entities, especially those embroiled in state capture allegations.

Cyril Ramaphosa was named the new president of the African National Congress on Monday. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here:

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