More than 4,000 branch delegates to attend ANC's 55th elective conference

15 September 2022 - 16:47
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Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are expected to go head-to-head for the ANC's top job.
Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are expected to go head-to-head for the ANC's top job.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term has been strengthened, with latest party membership figures showing provinces known to support him are likely to constitute the biggest voting bloc.

The audited membership figures also show that those seeking to oust Ramaphosa will have to run much stronger campaigns ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.

There, Ramaphosa is due to again come up against Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, after he defeated her in 2017.

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize has also thrown his hat into the ring.

Dlamini-Zuma and Mkhize enjoy support in KZN, the biggest province according to the allocation of branch delegates approved by the national executive committee (NEC).

It is not immediately clear who KZN leadership will pronounce, if it does at all.

Ramaphosa’s second-term bid has been endorsed by Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga.

Gauteng and the Northern Cape are also expected to rally behind him.

According to acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile, 4,250 delegates will attend the December conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

“There are 3,942 ANC branches with 100 or more members, and therefore entitled to one delegate each. The NEC also decided that a branch will get one delegate for every additional 150 members, subject to the limitation of national conference ceiling of attendance,” Mashatile said.


KZN has been allocated 877 delegates, making it the biggest provincial voting bloc at the conference.

The province is unlikely to rally behind Ramaphosa. It's support will likely be divided between Dlamini-Zuma and Mkhize.

Mkhize is said to be enjoying support from the majority of KZN's 11 regions.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape will send the second-biggest delegation to the conference at 684 delegates, led by chair Oscar Mabuyane, one of Ramaphosa’s strongest allies. 

Mabuyane’s opponent in the province, Babalo Madikizela, met Ramaphosa last week to assure him his supporters will rally behind the president.


Limpopo is in third place with 613 branch delegates. It was the first province to declare support for Ramaphosa’s second term. Its chair, Stan Mathabatha, pronounced at the ANC's January 8 birthday celebrations that the province will support the president. Its provincial executive later did the same, putting up Mashatile and Mathabatha as his running mates.


Gauteng will have 502 delegates at the conference. The province has not endorsed any candidate, but is expected to rally behind Ramaphosa and Mashatile for deputy president.


The province has endorsed the president and it is expected most of its 390 delegates will rally behind him. Mkhize and Dlamini-Zuma also enjoy support from the province through their ally, deputy provincial secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali.

North West

The province is the latest to conclude its conference, where allies of Ramaphosa and Mashatille were elected. Newly elected chair Nono Maloyi has indicated the province's support for Ramaphosa. The North West will be taking 361 delegates to the conference.

Free State

The highly divided province will bring 301 delegates to Nasrec. Suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule still yields power on his home turf and is likely to push his supporters to rally behind anyone but Ramaphosa. They will most likely support Dlamini-Zuma, given his relationship with former president Jacob Zuma. However, Ramaphosa is said to be enjoying some support in the Free State.

Western Cape

Those close to Ramaphosa are confident the province’s 283 delegates will rally behind him. The Western Cape is, however, marred by infighting that is said to have led to a postponement of its conference. 

Northern Cape

This was the first province to hold its conference, at which Ramaphosa’s allies were re-elected. Zamani Saul held on to his position as chair, as did provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga. They are expected to marshall 239 delegates behind Ramaphosa.

Mashatile has told provincial, regional and branch secretaries that this is the final membership audit and that branches can now nominate their preferred candidates.

They will nominate their preferred top six officials, with additional national executive committee (NEC) members. They have until October to finalise nominations.


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