Local as well as international investors are pleased to take note that ANC presidential front-runner Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is being met with a level of dissatisfaction from within the party, so much so that her bid for the country’s top office may be in jeopardy. In a recent note to investors following the ANC national policy conference this week, research analyst at Nomura, Peter Attard Montalto, provided an update on how things look in South Africa’s political sphere.
The analyst noted that very little happened in the way of actual policy – which was never really the point of the conference to begin with – but some surprising things emerged surrounding the mood among factions within the party. One of these was that levels of dissatisfaction with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as a leader – said to be president Jacob Zuma’s favoured candidate to succeed him as party leader – appears to be greater now. “We have always been cautious to state that we saw a ‘60% chance of the Zuma faction winning in December,” the analyst said. Dlamini-Zuma still currently holds the spot at the front-runner of this faction, but there are now doubts that she will remain there.
“It remains unclear who will be a viable alternative. Baleka Mbete still seems to be ‘en manoeuvres’, and Mpumalanga ANC chairman David Mabuza, as well. But both are still not sufficiently widely accepted,” Attard Montalto said. “As such, in this NPC-to-elective-conference period, we need to watch for the Zuma faction possibly switching markedly to another leader and see who it can bring together – especially how the backing of the leagues can shift as an early warning signal,” he said.
So, where does this leave Ramaphosa?
Zuma has endorsed the former African Union Commission chairperson and ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to takeover when his term comes to an end in December and the ANC Women’s League has also endorsed Dlamini-Zuma.
But Cosatu said that they must not be condemned for making a call that Ramaphosa should succeed Zuma. “Cosatu must not be condemned for its choice of who should be the president of the ANC, we are not confused. We want the current deputy president to be the president of the ANC. That is clear.” said Tyotyo James, chairman of Cosatu.
ANC Women’s League vs. Cosatu? Is that what it boils down to? Who comes to the rescue to prevent Dlamini-Zuma to become President?